World champion and Olympic medalist Todd Lodwick powers his way up a hill en route to a clean sweep of the three-race FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup competition at Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)
SOLDIER HOLLOW, UT (Dec. 16) - Olympic medalist and world champion Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) picked up a hat trick, winning his third straight FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow. The victories earned him a trip back to the FIS World Cup and build confidence for him in an important World Championship season. Lodwick jumped to fourth and quickly caught the field in cross country winning by 37.4 seconds over Sepp Schneider of Austria. Nicolas Martin of France was third. With low snow conditions early season, the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow came together to produce an outstanding series of competitions that are vital for athletes qualifying for the World Cup. Lodwick will rejoin the World Cup tour in early January in Schonach, Germany.
Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) jumped to fourth with a 115.5 meter ride then quickly caught the field to win his third straight FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow.
Sepp Schneider of Austria was second, 37.4 seconds back, with Nicolas Martin of France third, with the two battling back and forth on the final lap.
Brett Denney (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 14th, moving up from 48th after the jump with the second fastest cross country time.
Staff and volunteers at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow did an amazing job in a low snow December to produce three world class competitions.
The Continental Cup is a vital steppingstone for athletes to the World Cup. Lodwick, who suffered from asthma issues last season, used the weekend of racing to gain his spot back on the World Cup.
QUOTES Todd Lodwick, winner There was a lot of pressure coming into this weekend to earn my spot back on the World Cup.
Prior to this week I had been struggling with my jumping so I went back old school with some old skis and found my groove again.
Today I just went out easy and tried to not stress myself too much. I felt I could control the race from the start - a lot different from the first day when I was a minute back. Today I wasn't feeling my best but I was able to control the race.
I always hold myself to a high standard. When I'm not competing at the highest level I'm very frustrated.
I don't have a monkey on my back any more. I had to perform - this was my ticket back to the World Cup and the rest of my season. To start it off with a victory, to follow it up with another and then today with the hat trick I couldn't ask for a better weekend. Teammates are there to push everyone, including myself, and a great wax technician and the whole team came together and we earned a spot on the World Cup - not must myself but the whole team.
Sepp Schneider, Austria, second place It was a hard race. At the end I was still able to push when the French skier was coming towards me. I was second in the jump but Todd (Lodwick) caught me on the first lap. He's a really good skier.
Nicolas Martin, France, third place It was a good race for me. I had a good jump and started slowly in the race but came back towards the end. I was second on the last hill but the Austrian caught me on the downhill.