Billy Demong soars to eighth in ski jumping in the first of two FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup events in Park City.
PARK CITY, UT (Dec. 11) - Subtle, swirly winds wreaked a bit of havoc with the ski jumping field, as Austria's Lukas Greiderer soared to 92.5 meters to take the lead in a FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. American Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) tied for eighth, with an 84.5-meter ride and will start one minute, two seconds behind Greiderer in Friday's 10k cross country at the Gorgoza Park tubing hill along I-80 near Park City. Greiderer, who finished third in the 2014 Continental Cup, holds a slim lead over Germans Tobias Simon and Phillip Blaurock.
Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO) jumped to 22nd with Olympian Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) in 26th, starting 2:16 back in cross country. Fletcher was frustrated with the impact wind had on the round, but confident in his ability to make up the time and challenge for the win. "It's going to be a really tough cross country event, especially if it's icy," said Fletcher. "But I feel I have the ability to catch the field."
The organizing committee from the Olympic venue of Soldier Hollow had to move the event to the Gorgoza Park tubing hill near Parley's Summit along I-80, but has designed a spectator-friendly course that should provide 30 minutes of jam-packed excitement with fast downhills, jumps and tricky turns. Start time is 9:00 a.m. on Friday. A second combined event will start with jumping Friday afternon at the Utah Olympic Park and wrapup Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m.