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Moan takes Nordic combined race

1/17/2009

WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Magnus Moan of Norway edged Bjoern Kircheisen of Germany and Bill Demong of the United States to win a Nordic combined individual start event at the Whistler Olympic Park on Saturday.

Moan won in 25 minutes, 18.7 seconds, while Kircheisen and Demong crossed in a photo finish, with the German finishing 0.1 seconds ahead of the American in 25:19.1.

"Today was one of those days where it's right to the very end and you don't know what's going to happen," said Demong, who a day earlier had won the first two Olympic test events at the 2010 venue. "You've got the fastest skiers all together working together and Anssi [Koivuranta] skiing well, holding on to everything he's worth in the stadium on the last lap."

Johnny Spillane of Steamboat Springs, Colo., finished 11th, Todd Lodwick of Steamboat Springs finished 12th and Brett Camerota of Park City, Utah, placed 24th for the U.S.

Koivuranta, who leads the World Cup standings with 773 points, was first after ski jump with a leap of 140 meters, but fell behind in the last 800-meters of the cross-country race to finish fourth.

Demong, of Vermontville, N.Y., fought his way from eighth place and Kircheisen from 11th after the jump for a spot on the podium.

Moan is second in World Cup standings with 701 points, while Demong is third with 675.