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Friday, March 6, 2009
Demong rallies for victory in Finland

Associated Press

LAHTI, Finland -- World champion Bill Demong of the United States rallied to win a Nordic combined World Cup race Friday.

Demong finished the individual Gundersen event, which began with a ski jump and ended with a 10-kilometer cross country race, in 26 minutes, 10.8 seconds. Anssi Koivuranta of Finland was 7.2 seconds behind and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France was third.

The 28-year-old Demong won his world title last week in the combined in Liberec, Czech Republic.

Demong trailed jump winner Koivuranta by 19 seconds and Lamy Chappuis by 16, when the American jumped a sixth-best 123.5 meters for 127.2 points. Koivuranta led the jumpers with 132.0 points from a 128-meter effort.

But Demong started briskly in the cross country skiing and needed less than 2 miles to reach the top duo. With about 2 miles left, he took the lead and held on easily to the finish.

Demong improved to third overall in the World Cup standings with 920 points, trailing leader Koivuranta, who has 1,249. Norway's Magnus Moan, who finished fourth, has 1,170.

A combined event will be held on Saturday.