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Demong Leads USA on Big Hill

Germany’s Eric Frenzel skied to an easy gold, leading the large hill jump and putting nearly 40 seconds on the field in cross country for his first medal of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme.

Billy Demong and Taylor Fletcher set a blistering pace in cross country finishing 15th and 17th.

“Today was definitely a much better jumping day for me but conditions really flipped midway,” said Demong. “In the second half they lowered the gate and there was a lot of headwind. But I definitely had one of my best executions. Given a normal day would have had a chance to ski up.”

Erratic wind conditions created unusual situations in the jump, creating a large time gap back to the U.S. athletes even though some, including Demong, had strong jumps.

“I was really happy with my jump but the wind got better and the better jumpers were able to go further,” said Fletcher. “That put me two minutes, 11 seconds back. I had a great race but we had no chance to make it close to the top 10 I felt like Bill and I skied a solid race and you can be happy with that but we wanted so much more.”

The Championships conclude Saturday for nordic combined with the team sprint.

Geoff Mintz

Associate Editor

Geoff Mintz is a former alpine ski racer who cut his teeth at Ragged Mountain and Waterville Valley, N.H. After graduating from Holderness and UVM, he relocated to Colorado, where he worked as an instructor at Beaver Creek prior to pursuing a career in journalism. He currently lives in the woods above Vail with his wife, Colleen.

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