Druml wins second U.S. Continental Cup
Austria is back on top, at least in Continental Cup. Tomaz Druml won the second Individual Competition in Utah Olympic Park / Soldier Hollow. Druml managed to turn yesterday's result and crossed the finish line 10.6 seconds ahead of U.S. veteran Bill Demong, Italy's Lukas Runggaldier took another podium, finishing third, 12.3 seconds after Druml.
During the ski jumping part, the Austrians had already rules surpreme with Lukas Greiderer setting the undisputed top distance with 96 metres and 125 points, giving him 20 seconds on head start on the track on teammate Philip Orter who jumped 94,5 metres. Winner Druml had set himself up in a promising third position 28 seconds behind Greiderer and was able to ski the race together with his two teammates.
Yesterday's winner Demong went out on the track in seventh position, 36 seconds behind Greiderer and fast skier Runggaldier had 58 seconds to make up to the leader.
Tomaz Druml on the course of the race: "It helped a lot to ski with my teammates because you have the confidence that the other guys can help you if you're struggling. But today was a little bit different because I was the one leading the group – one guy helped me a bit. I just had to go my pace and sometimes it's easier to go with your race speed than to adapt to another speed. It helped me to keep Bill Demong and Lukas Runggaldier at a distance."
In the end, Druml proved too strong for Demong and Runggaldier to catch up but the came close: only ten seconds separated Druml and Demong in the end. Druml's teammates Philipp Orter, Harald Lemmerer, Lukas Greiderer and Mathias Hochegger made this day an Austrian triumph with five athletes in the Top Ten once more. Both Frenchmen Hugo Buffard and Samuel Guy also managed to snare Top Ten results with ranks seven and eight and local hero Nick Hendrickson also bagged a Top Ten place with rank nine in the end.
Winner Druml was enthusiastic about the setup of the Continental Cup in the USA: "I've been here many times. Soldier Hollow is a great place to ski. The area for cross country tracks is just amazing. This course is a bit tough because they have some loops and turns in it. It's amazing at the Utah Olympic Park – great hills and a perfect profile. I just really love it here and hope that we can come back here for many years. And I hope that maybe there can be a World Cup here."