Hometown Hero Lodwick Wins Gold Cup in Steamboat

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Steamboat Springs, Colo. Dec. 19, 2001 (USSA)--Hometown hero Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs), who won the inaugural Gold Cup in 1998, made it look easy Wednesday as he cruised to his second Gold Cup triumph, this time by 48 seconds over Bill Demong (Vermontville, NY) with Johnny Spillane (also Steamboat Springs) in third place.

ESPN will televise coverage of the competition on New Year's Day at 4 p.m. EST.

The victory was worth $10,000 and an automatic spot on the Olympic Team, just as it was when he won four years ago. After finishing sixth Tuesday in a World Cup, after falling when he had the lead early in the sprint, and second Sunday, Lodwick thought he'd be able to relax...until Demong went 115 meters on his first jump.

"This was going to be a casual day until Billy hit that first one. I wasn't taking any chances in the 5K.

"This money was really spent two years ago on student loans, so it's nice to get it in hand...I felt fine after Tuesday's sixth, after he fell while leading in a World Cup sprint and it'll be nice to have a couple of days off before we get back at it."

Lodwick had the longest jump of the second round and led Demong by nine seconds at the start of the 5-km race. He padded the lead in each lap and cruised home well in front.

Spillane, getting better each day after a disappointing 39th Sunday in the World Cup, was third in jumping and, starting nearly a minute after Demong, couldn't cut into the lead in such a short race. He finished 34 seconds behind the New Yorker.