Johnny Spillane, shown here at the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at Holmenkollen in Oslo, posted season best Saturday. (Getty Images/Bongarts/Christof Koepsel)
CHAUX-NEUVE, France (Jan. 14) – Olympian Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) recorded his season best result Saturday, finishing ninth after closing in on a minute and 10 second deficit to catch the lead pack and land less than eight seconds behind the winner. Teammate Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) skied the third fastest cross country race time to turn a 28th start to a 12th. Italy's Alessandro Pittin took his second win of the weekend in a photo finish against hometown favorite Jason Lamy-Chappuis.
Season best result for Johnny Spillane in ninth after jumping to 13th
Billy Demong skied third fastest race to close a gap of one minute, 32 seconds to finish just over 10 seconds behind Italy's Alessandro Pittin
Brothers Taylor and Bryan Fletcher (both Steamboat Springs, CO) were 31st and 32nd respectively
Nick Hendrickson (Park City, UT) was 41st, an improvement over yesterday's 49th
Weekend concludes tomorrow with a large hill individual Gundersen World Cup
QUOTES Johnny Spillane I had a good jump and felt good in the race. I had good skis. It was tough because there were a lot of good skiers in that group at the end. I wasn't tired, but I was just having a hard time with positioning. I had a couple places where I got pinched on the course and lost a lot of places and had to make up. Instead of just skiing at the front and being relaxed I had to constantly maneuver through people which tactically isn't very good.
Overall I was satisfied with the effort and was in a position to do well but just didn't take advantage of it but overall was happy.
I just have to keep going in the right direction on the jump hill. I know the racing is there. I just have to execute a little better on the cross country course and we should be in good shape.
Dave Jarrett, Head Nordic Combined Coach We're inching closer and closer to the podium. It was definitely a hard race - it was windy. Johnny had a good race, Billy had a good race and Taylor did, too. Bryan was a bit in no man's land today.