Stecher wins sprint season opener


Stecher wins sprint season opener{mosimage}KUUSAMO, Finland — Austria’s Mario Stecher won the first nordic combined sprint event of the season on Sunday.

Stecher overtook Norway’s Petter Tande toward the end of the 7.5-kilometer freestyle event and won by 4 seconds. Tande was second and Georg Hettich of Germany was third, 6.2 seconds back.

Hannu Manninen, the reigning overall champion from Finland, had to start 30th after a mediocre jump, trailing the leader by 1 minute, 43 seconds.

But, in his usual fashion, Manninen went hard on the track and advanced to fourth in the end.

American Todd Lodwick finished 11th.

Manninen leads the overall standings after two events with 150 points. Tande has 140, and Stecher 111 points.

Nordic combined World Cup results
Ski jumping and 7.5-kilometer cross-country skiing

1. Mario Stecher, Austria, 19 minutes, 18.2 seconds (9-9).
2. Petter Tande, Norway 4.0 seconds behind (2-23).
3. Georg Hettich, Germany, :06.2 (7-15).
4. Hannu Manninen, Finland, :11.6 (30-1).
5. Magnus Moan, Norway, :12.2 (28-2).
6. Felix Gottwald, Austria, :13.0 (23-3).
7. Kristian Hammer, Norway, :16.1 (19-4).
8. Thorsten Schmitt, Germany, :17.3 (7-20).
9. Jaakko Tallus, Finland, :17.3 (6-21).
10. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, :17.8 (3-24),
11. Todd Lodwick, United States, :20.0 (12-11).
12. Havard Klemetsen, Norway, :24.5 (4-26).
13. Daito Takahashi, Japan, :28.7 (1-38).
14. Christoph Bieler, Austria, :33.4 (10-22).
15. Jason Lamy Chapuis, France, :44.7 (5-33).

Overall Standings
(After 2 of 20 events)

1. Hannu Manninen, Finland, 150 points.
2. Petter Tande, Norway, 140.
3. Mario Stecher, Austria, 111.
4. Anssi Koivuranta, Finland, 106.
5. Magnus Moan, Norway, 90.
6. Felix Gottwald, Austria, 80.
7. Jason Lamy Chapuis, France, 66.
8. Jaakko Tallus, Finland, 65.
9. Georg Hettich, Germany, 62.
10. Todd Lodwick, United States, 53.

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