Schonach NC: Manninen wins, Demong climbs to 10th


Schonach NC: Manninen wins, Demong climbs to 10th{mosimage}SCHONACH, Germany – World Cup leader Hannu Manninen of Finland won his fifth event of the season Friday as the German Grand Prix concluded. American Bill Demong grabbed his second top 10 of the season, moving up 18 places with the seventh-fastest 15-kilometer race.

Manninen overtook jumping leader Christoph Bieler of Austria to win by 21.5 seconds with Magnus Moan of Norway turning in the fastest race time to move up from 24th after jumping to complete the podium in third place. Manninen also won the championship of the German Grand Prix, the three-event series within the (World Cup) series.

Demong was 25th in jumping, starting six seconds behind Moan, silver medalist in the sprint at the 2005 World Championships, but never caught him. He finished in 1:17.2 while Johnny Spillane, in just his third competition after a shoulder injury in November, dropped out at about the 10 km mark with stiffness in his legs.

‘Billy was right behind Magnus but he never caught up to him’ coach Dave Jarrett said. ‘Magnus took off fast and kept getting faster and faster. Billy had another good race, though – he was seventh fastest, but he needed to have a better first round of jumping and he’d really have been in there. He’s skiing well.’

Spillane, who was 22nd a week ago in his first World Cup of the season, said he felt good through the middle of the race but his legs tightened after four laps and he dropped out with two laps remaining. ‘I just need more time in conditioning – training and racing; you can’t just jump back into the World Cup without being in better shape. I need more jumps – I’ve only got about 150 since worlds last February – and I need more [cross-country] training.’

Spillane will accompany coach Lasse Ottesen to Lillehammer for the next week for a minicamp on jumping. Ottesen, Norwegian silver medalist at the 1994 Olympics, has arranged for Spillane to get daily training – ‘something you can’t get once you’re on the tour’ Spillane said – before returning for World Cup competition – a mass start and a sprint – Jan. 14-15 in Val diFiemme, Italy. Spillane won his sprint world title in Val diFiemme in 2003.

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

Warsteiner nordic combined World Cup
German Grand Prix
Schonach, Germany – Jan. 6, 2006
NH (HS90)/15 km

1. Hannu Manninen, Finland, (9/4)
2. Christoph Bieler, Austria, (1/30) 21.5 seconds back
3. Magnus Moan, Norway (24/1) 23.7
4. Felix Gottwald, Austria, (17/2) 24.8
5. Ronny Ackermann, Germany, (16/3) 28.8
U.S. athletes
10. Bill Demong, Vermontville, N.Y., (25/7) 1:17.2
DNF: Johnny Spillane, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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