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Bryan Fletcher tucks around a high-speed corner at Soldier Hollow en route to a repeat national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Midway, Utah. (USSA/Tom Kelly)

Bryan Fletcher tucks around a high-speed corner at Soldier Hollow en route to a repeat national title at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships in Midway, Utah. (Photo: USSA/Tom Kelly)

Bryan Fletcher notched his second-straight national title on Saturday at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.

After posting the farthest jump on the 134-meter large hill at Utah Olympic Park, Fletcher, 29, started first (with a 26-second head start) in the cross-country rollerski race and held off U.S. Nordic Combined teammate Adam Loomis, 23, for the win. As he crossed the finish line five seconds ahead of Loomis, Fletcher made a point for a mini celebration.

The podium at the 2015 U.S. Nordic Combined Championships, which were held in Park City and Midway, Utah: with winner Bryan Fletcher (c), second-place finisher Adam Loomis (l) and Taylor Fletcher in third. (Photo: Dave Jarrett/Twitter)

The podium at the 2015 U.S. Nordic Combined Championships, which were held in Park City and Midway, Utah: with winner Bryan Fletcher (c), second-place finisher Adam Loomis (l) and Taylor Fletcher in third. (Photo: Dave Jarrett/Twitter)

“It was a little close there at the end,” Fletcher told Steamboat Today. “Coming up to the stadium it was a little bit of a sprint to make sure I had a comfortable distance, but then it was getting in a good celebration and pump for the crowd and for me to excitedly celebrate winning the race.”

Fletcher remains the only active U.S. team member to hold a national title. He won last year’s championships in Lake Placid, N.Y.  His younger brother, Taylor, placed third on Saturday, finishing 47 seconds after Bryan after starting 1 minute and 4 seconds behind.

“Going into the race I knew I could come home with the victory if I paced it right,” Fletcher said. “I was able to hold off Adam and Taylor who were charging and coming up behind me fast. I knew it was coming in hot. Going into the stadium on the last lap, I knew once I made it over the top of the hill that I had it in the bag.”

U.S. Nordic Combined members Michael Ward, Jasper Good and Ben Berend placed fourth through sixth, respectively. Fifteen men completed the race.

 

Complete results

 

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Japan’s Akito Watabe took first in the final World Cup of the season, a 15-kilometer race in Oslo, Norway. With this finish he secured second-place in the overall World Cup standings, behind overall winner Eric Frenzel of Germany, who finished 4th on Saturday (+22.6).

Germany’s Johannes Rydzek took second on Saturday, finishing nine seconds behind Watabe to finish third in the overall standings. Alessandro Pittin, of Italy, took the final spot on the podium (+18.6) after a ferocious ski, making up three minutes over the two 7.5 k laps and posting the fastest time of the day. Pittin finished 11th overall for the season.

Taylor Fletcher was the top American, finishing 21st on Saturday. Fletcher’s strong ski performance, the fourth-fastest of the day, could not make up for a 4:02 start gap after a 27th-ranked jump, and he finished 2:35 behind Watabe. Fletcher finished 27th in the overall standings, the second-ranked American, behind his brother Bryan Fletcher. Bryan Fletcher was the only other American to compete on Saturday, finishing 29th (+5:23.7). His day was sweetened, however, by an overall season finish of 15th, the top result for the U.S.

Results

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Norway’s Magnus Moan overcame a 30-second starting deficit to take the lead two kilometers into Thursday’s 10-kilometer individual race and win his 24th career World Cup in Trondheim, Norway.

Moan jumped to 10th on the large hill and posted the fourth-fastest ski time en route to the win in 24:22.9. He bested Germany’s Fabian Riessle, who started eighth and finished second, by 13.3 seconds and Italy’s Alessandro Pittin, who jumped to 21st and skied the third-fastest 10 k for third, by 18.2 seconds.

With the Overall World Cup title under wraps, Eric Frenzel of Germany led after the jump and ended up 10th (+42.9).

Taylor Fletcher of the U.S. skied up from 44th and 2:04 back to 14th (+1:14.5) with the fastest ski time.

“I was so close to having excellent day,” Fletcher tweeted on Thursday. “I was a little to [sic] aggressive after the takeoff that killed the jump, but I had a hell of a xc race!”

His brother Bryan Fletcher jumped to 41st and placed 25th (+1:37.9) with the seventh-fastest ski time. The third American, Adam Loomis finished 31st (+2:04) after ranking 45th in the jump and 12th in the 10 k.

The Nordic Combined World Cup concludes Saturday with a final individual competition in Oslo, Norway.

Results

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U.S. Nordic Combined has two more World Cup competitions on the docket, and Fast Big Dog caught up with the team on Tuesday during a training day in Trondheim, Norway.

The two remaining individual competitions start Thursday with the large hill/10 k in Trondheim, followed by Saturday’s large hill/15 k in Oslo, Norway.

Schedule

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FALUN, Sweden — Francois Braud and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France catapulted themselves to gold in the 2 x 7.5-kilometer team sprint on Saturday, the last day of nordic combined at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

With that, the 28-year-old Jason Lamy Chappuis, who defended his team sprint title from 2013 World Championships and won his first gold of these worlds, announced this would be his last season.

“Finishing here in Falun with a world championship title, I think is the best way to finish a career,” he told the Associated Press. “I want these memories like today to be forever in my head.”

Lamy Chappuis added that he plans to finish out the World Cup season in March.

First in the jump, Braud and Lamy Chappuis started the two-man sprint 11 seconds ahead of Japan’s Yoshito Watabe and Akito Watabe in second. Germany’s Eric Frenzel and Johannes Rydzek headed out third, 21 seconds out of first, and Norway’s Magnus Moan and Håvard Klemetsen started with a 44-second deficit in fourth.

The U.S., with Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher, jumped to 10th of 12 teams and started 2:04 back.

“Not sure how you get minus wind points and a green light in a headwind comp?” U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett tweeted after the jumping portion.

Amid the softest, slowest conditions of the two-week championships (the course had been re-groomed after the women’s 30 k classic, but didn’t firm up in the warm temperatures), the Fletchers improved to ninth, 1:59.9 behind France with the fifth-fastest team time in the cross-country race.

“Today was racing for pride,” Bryan said in a USSA press release. “I was unlucky on the jump and needed a near perfect jump to have a chance in those conditions. Unfortunately I didn’t have that jump which took Tay and I out of the competition.”
“Taylor and I went out in the race to enjoy the crowd and the atmosphere in the last competition of worlds,” he added. “Falun did a great job hosting the championships and I enjoyed them throughly. I am walking away with a personal best finish and some motivation going into the rest of the season.”

France edged out Germany by 2.7 seconds and Norway took bronze, 19.4 seconds out of first.

Finland’s Ilkka Herola and Jim Haertull finished fourth (+1:04.2), Italy was fifth (+1:18.7) with Samuel Costa and Alessandro Pittin, the Watabe brothers placed sixth (+1:25.7), Austria’s Sepp Schneider and Bernhard Gruber were seventh (+1:40.9), and the Czech Republic was eighth (+1:50.4).

After the U.S., Slovenia placed 10th and Estonia was 11th.

Results

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Taylor Fletcher en route to the fastest tim of the second leg of the team gundersen 4 x 5 k at the 2015 FIS  Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. (photo: flying pointroad)

Taylor Fletcher (8) en route to the fastest time of the second leg of the team Gundersen 4 x 5 k at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. (Photo: FlyingPointRoad.com)

FALUN, Sweden — The U.S. Nordic Combined squad jumped to eighth and skied to seventh overall in Sunday’s 4 x 5-kilometer team event at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.

Going into the cross-country portion ranked eighth after the 100-meter jump hill, the four-man U.S. team, consisting of Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Adam Loomis, and Billy Demong attempted to make up time on the German leaders who started 1:39 ahead of them.  The American squad was unable to make up ground on the leaders, but moved up to seventh place over the course of the relay.

Bryan Fletcher notched the second-fastest time in the relay’s first leg, while his brother Taylor clocked the fastest time of the second leg. The U.S. stuck with Italy for much of the race, and was advancing on the rest of the competition until Italy charged ahead in the final 5 k.

Germany convincingly won the race with a time of 44:20.7 and was followed by Norway (+23.1) and France (+39.6). Third in the team event at 2013 World Championships, the U.S. finished 2:37.8 back from the winners on Sunday.

Results

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Taylor Fletcher won the nordic combined continental cup in Ramsau, Austria Feb. 14 in convincing fashion. Jumping to 21st, the 24-year-old overcame a 1:22 gap to win with a time of 36:16.5. Notching the fastest time on the day, Fletcher bested the rest of the field by 9.4 second.

“I knew I had a chance but it was within grasp on the second lap when we caught the leaders,” Fletcher said to the Steamboat Pilot and Today. “I really tried to stay in the pack and not lead as I am not the best at that and always try to drop the rest. I skied a very tactical race going hard in certain places and easy in others. I had great skis and our B-team tech Tomas Matura did a great job, for sure.”

Adam Loomis was the next U.S. finisher in 20th position. Ben Berend was 40th and Jasper Good was 46th.

Fletcher will look to continue his winning ways at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden, beginning Feb. 18.

Results

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(USSA press release)

PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 5, 2015) – Steamboat Springs skiers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher headline a team of five nordic combined athletes named to compete in the Feb. 18-March 1 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Olympic champion Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) was named to his seventh World Championship Team.

The Taylor brothers have emerged as the Team’s strongest athletes. “Both Bryan and Taylor have shown that with a good jump they are among the fastest guys in nordic combined and can compete for the podium,” said Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett.

In addition to the veterans, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) named two first-time team members, Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI).

The Championships open in Falun Feb. 18. The entire Championships schedule will be streamed live by the USSA at www.usskiteam.com and will be available on the Live Arena Falun2015 mobile app in America.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Five athletes were named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 18-Mar. 1 in Falun, Sweden.
Taylor Fletcher was on the World Cup podium last month, finishing third in Sapporo, Japan.
Brother Bryan Fletcher has had a strong and consistent season with six top-10 results.
Billy Demong, who made history with his 2010 Olympic gold, was named to his seventh World Championship Team.
Adam Loomis was named to his first Championship Team based on scoring his first World Cup points in January.
Ben Berend will make his debut, being selected based on strong Continental Cup results.
Each of the four nordic combined events will be streamed live on usskiteam.com.

2015 U.S. World Championship Nordic Combined Team

(Name, hometown, birthdate, USSA club, past World Champs)

  • Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, CO, 6/29/95, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
  • Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, 3/29/80, Lake Placid Ski Club (1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 6/27/86, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 5/11/90, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (2011, 2013)
  • Adam Loomis, Eau Claire, WI, 3/19/92, Eau Claire Flying Eagles Ski Club

SCHEDULE

FIS Nordic Ski World Championships
Falun, Sweden

Feb. 18 – Opening Ceremony
Feb. 20 – Individual Gundersen start (HS100 meter jump/10k XC)
Feb. 24 – Team Event (HS100 meter jump/4x5k XC)
Feb. 26 – Individual Gundersen start (HS134 meter jump/10k XC)
Feb. 28 – Team Sprint (HS134 meter jump/2×7.5k XC)

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The end of January welcomed three days of racing in Val di Fiemme, Italy for the nordic combined World Cup. The first day of racing marked the individual Gundersen 10 k, where Bernhard Gruber of of Austria won with a time of 29:13.9. He was followed by Norwegians Jan Schmid (+7.8) and Jørgen Graaback (+10.2) in second and third. Bryan Fletcher led the Americans in 25th place, 1:44.5 behind. He was followed by Adam Loomis and Micheal Ward in 28th and 41st.

Saturday’s team sprint went to Johannes Wasel, Tobias Simon and David Welde of team Germany. They were followed by Japan and Russia in second and third.

Sunday’s 10 k Gundersen went to Jørgen Graaback of Norway, who won his first World Cup in 25.28.7. Rounding out the podium were Gruber (+3.8) and Fabian Rießle of Germany (+4.1), respectively.

Fletcher led the American men in the Val di Fiemme in 21st (+1:03.5). In what a U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association press release called an “illness-plagued weekend,” the American team was unable to match its most recent World Cup performance in Sapporo, Japan, where brother Taylor Fletcher notched third and Bryan placed eighth. Taylor finished 35th in Sunday’s race, while teammates Loomis and Colin Delaney finished 36th and 45th.

Friday’s 10 k Gundersen Results

Saturday’s Team Sprint

Sunday’s 10 k Gundersen Results

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Taylor Fletcher (right) earned his second career podium in Sapporo, Japan, on Saturday, behind Eric Frenzel (center, GER) and Akito Watabe (left, JPN). (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined/Instagram)

Taylor Fletcher (right) earned his second career podium in Sapporo, Japan, on Saturday, behind Eric Frenzel (center, GER) and Akito Watabe (left, JPN). (Photo: FIS Nordic Combined/Instagram)

Taylor Fletcher of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, turned in a third-place effort in Saturday’s Large Hill 10 k competition in Sapporo, Japan. It’s the second individual World Cup podium of his career after another third-place performance in Austria in 2013.

Ranking just 28th after the jump, Fletcher clocked the fastest ski time of the day by 20 seconds. He moved all the way up onto the podium, finishing just 3.5 seconds shy of Eric Frenzel of Germany, who won for the second day in a row. Second place went to Akito Watabe of Japan (+1.8 seconds).

Fletcher launched an attack after catching the lead pack late in the race, but Frenzel was able to counter.

“Today was a great day,” Fletcher said in a press conference. “I had a fantastic jump. I was closer to the front than I’ve been in a long time. With that, I knew that I had a realistic shot at a podium. I had my brother [start] right in front of me, and we were able to work together for a little while…. I went in and skied a hard race like I know I have been capable of. This is my first podium in over a year and it’s fantastic to be back. I hope to continue in this fashion.”

Taylor’s brother Bryan Fletcher followed up Friday’s ninth-place effort with one better: eighth place in the Large Hill (+21.9). He skied up from being ranked 27th after the jump. Adam Loomis finished 36th (+2:59).

Results

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