Billy Demong, shown here in early February, skied the second fastest time to close the gap and earn a top-15 finish. (Getty Images/AFP — Stringer)
LIBEREC, Czech Republic (Feb. 25) – Olympic Champion Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY), turned a number 38 start position, with a two minute and 14 second gap to make up, into a top-15 when he landed 14th Saturday in windy Liberec. Strong winds forced the provisional competition round jump to be scored, which turned the originally scheduled penalty race format for today into an individual Gundersen. Austria's Bernhard Gruber hung on to a strong start position to take the win.
Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) started 38th, with over two minutes to make up, to ski the second fastest race and finish 14th.
Teammate Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) fell three spots after the jump to take 19th.
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) boosted 10 places to turn a 32nd spot start into a 23rd.
Young Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT) qualified for the competition in 50th after the jump and made up eight spots to finish 42nd.
Strong winds challenged competitors today, forcing the provisional competition round to be used.
The originally scheduled penalty race format set to execute today was canceled after challenging weather conditions forced the use of the provisional competition round.
A decision will be made later today on the format of Sunday's competition.