March 7th, 2014
It was a nice day in Trondheim on Thursday.
“Sunny and warm and spring-like on the beautiful fjord” is how U.S. Ski Team member Bill Demong described it. But beautiful doesn’t always make for good skiing, though Demong complimented the race organizers on spending months “farming” and salting a 2-kilometer loop to use for the World Cup 10 k Nordic Combined event, creating a hard and fast course.
The veteran Demong charged from behind to finish 10th after jumping into 20th, he put down the fourth fastest cross country time of the day to move up ten spots. Teammate Taylor Fletcher posted the fastest time of the day, skiing 24:20.4 on the 10 k course, to finish 23rd after a 47th ranked jump, while Johannes Rydzek of Germany took the victory ahead of Norwegians Joergen Graabak and Magnus Moan.
“The course itself was very challenging right on the limit for climb in a 10km race with some hard corners and tough transitions,” Demong wrote in an email. Demong was satisfied with his jump, feeling that he has jumped consistently all season.
Demong finished 19.1 seconds behind Rydzek and less than nine seconds out of the top-5.
Bryan Fletcher (USA) did not start.
The athletes head to another individual 10k Gundersen World Cup on the legendary Holmenkollen hill in Oslo on Saturday.
March 1st, 2014
Saturday’s Nordic combined team sprint was the last of its kind this winter on the World Cup and proved to be a duel between Germany and Norway. The two man sprint event combines two jumps with a lap each of 7.5 k.
Germany I represented by Johannes Rydzek and Eric Frenzel led after the jumping with total score of 227.2 points. Norway I, comprised of Jørgen Graabak and Håvard Klemetsen, were just 4.1 points behind for an eight second disadvantage.
Klemetsen won the day for Norway, chasing down Rydzek on the final lap to secure the victory.
Germany I was second, with France I (Francois Braud & Sebastien Lacroix) in third. United States I was 14th (Taylor Fletcher & Bryan Fletcher), while United States II was 19th (Adam Loomis & Nick Hendrickson).
Friday’s normal hill/10 k was won by Johannes Rydzek, with Japan’s Akito Watabe second by 7 seconds. Eric Frenzel was third, 20.6 seconds behind his teammate Rydzek.
Bryan Fletcher was 34th for the United States.No comments
January 19th, 2014
On the final day of competition at the first-ever Nordic Combined World Cup Triple in Seefeld, Austria, Eric Frenzel of Germany ended on the absolute highest note — winning his third-straight competition in as many days over the weekend for a €30,000-Euro ($40,600-dollar) grand prize.
Second after two competition jumps on Sunday, Frenzel started second in the cumulative pursuit-style 15-kilometer race later in the afternoon and quickly made up 10 seconds on Norway’s Haavard Klemetsen. Frenzel ended up winning in 38:26.2 minutes, 21.2 seconds ahead of Klemetsen in second. Another Norwegian, Magnus Moan finished 29.1 back in third (+29.1).
Sunday’s runner-up Johannes Rydzek of Germany placed fourth (+39.3) and American Bryan Fletcher improved from sixth on Friday and Saturday to fifth overall (+47.6).
Frenzel earned double World Cup points for the Triple crown, extending his lead in the World Cup standings over France’s Jason Lamy-Chappuis, who finished ninth on Sunday (+1:41.0).
Billy Demong of the U.S. placed 11th overall (+1:54.7), up from 12th on Saturday. After jumping to 22nd, he skied the third-fastest 15 k ((behind Norway’s Mikko Kokslien (seventh) and Italy’s Alessandro Pittin (10th), respectively)).No comments
January 18th, 2014
After launching himself to the lead at the first-ever Nordic Combined Triple at the World Cup in Seefeld, Austria, Germany’s Eric Frenzel followed up on Friday’s prologue victory with another win on Saturday, beating the field by 26.4 seconds in the 10-kilometer Gundersen in 24.49.9.
The overall World Cup leader, Frenzel jumped to first then skied the 19th fastest time to come out on top with one final day of competition remaining. Germany took the top two with Johannes Rydzek in second, and Norway’s Magnus Moan rose from fourth to third, 27.6 seconds behind Frenzel.
“It was anything but relaxing, but a really tough race,” Frenzel told Sportschau, according to a translation. ”Magnus very quickly become very caught up, so I did not expect. I knew that I can still put it back.”
Rydzek passed Moan at the last second before the finish.
“I tried to save … and I am sure been a little a**hole but I was able to fully pass through to the finish line,” Rydzek told Sportschau.
Norway’s Haavard Klemetsen placed fourth (+48.1), after jumping to second and skiing the 32nd-ranked time of 50 in the 10 k. Jason Lamy Chappuis of France rose from 10th to fifth (+56.5), and American Bryan Fletcher repeated his sixth-place season best from Friday, finishing 57.4 back on Saturday.
Eighth on Friday, Billy Demong of the U.S. placed 12th, skiing up from 20th in the jump with the eighth-fastest 10 k time. Norway’s Joergen Graabak improved from 42nd to 20th with the fastest ski time, and another Norwegian Mikko Kokslien skied the second-fastest time to end up 11th.
The three-day competition wraps up Sunday with two jumps and a 15 k pursuit-style race, which is handicapped by the first two day’s cumulative time back.1 comment
January 17th, 2014
On the opening day of the inaugural Nordic Combined Triple — a series of three competitions in three days in Seefeld, Austria — the overall World Cup leader, Germany’s Eric Frenzel came out with a fire in Friday’s shorter-than-usual comp, winning the 5-kilometer prologue in 12:37.4.
Second-best in the jump after Norway’s Haavard Klemetsten, the 25-year-old Frenzel raced to the victory, beating another Norwegian, Magnus Moan, by 8.4 seconds. Moan skied up from 12th to second overall with the fastest 5 k time, and another German, Tino Edelmann, held his position in third (+9.4) after ranking third in the jump.
“It’s been a good day,” Frenzel told the Associated Press. “My jump went well and I skied my own race. I lost some time [to Moan] but I am really pleased with this victory.”
Frenzel extended his lead in the World Cup standings by 127 points over Jason Lamy Chappuis of France, who finished ninth on Friday.
Klemetsen ended up fourth (+11.7) after his cross-country leg ranked 48th of 68 competitors. Germany’s Johannes Rydzek was fifth (+12.0), and Bryan Fletcher led the Americans with a season-best sixth (+25.2). Fletcher jumped to 11th, then skied the 16th-fastest time.
Japan’s Akito Watabe jumped to 14th and skied the 14th-fastest time to place seventh (+26.0), and Billy Demong of the U.S. notched eighth (+27.0), his best individual result of the season, after jumping 17th and skiing the 12th-fastest time. He edged Chappuis by 0.7 seconds, and Ilkka Herola of Finland placed 10th (+30.9).
The Triple continues Saturday with an individual Gundersen competition, narrowed down to the top 50 from Friday, followed by two jumps and a 15 k on Sunday.
Taylor Fletcher (USA) placed 56th on Friday after jumping to 64th and posting the fifth-fastest prologue time. Another American Brett Denney was 63rd and Canadian Wesley Savill finished 68th.No comments
January 12th, 2014
Consistency was king for Germany II in today’s World Cup Team Sprint in Chaux-Neuve, France. Tino Edelmann and Fabian Riessle of Germany had a combined fourth-place jump rank and a combined fourth-place ski rank to finish first overall, with a team time of 34:32.8.
Norway II earned a second-place finish with lackluster jumping that top-notch skiing couldn’t quite make up. They had a combined jump rank that put them in 11th, but a fastest-of-the-day combined ski (33:58.2), good enough to get second-place overall, only 0.4 seconds behind Germany II. Germany I took third (+2.1) with seventh and third-place jumping and ski ranks, respectively.
United States I, composed of Bryan Fletcher and Bill Demong, earned a sixth-place jump score and a sixth-place ski score, putting them in seventh place overall (+5.0). US II, composed of Brett Denney and Taylor Fletcher, jumped their way to 20th place and skied to 10th, for an overall 16th-place finish (2:45.8).No comments
January 12th, 2014
American Billy Demong, back in Europe, and racing on the World Cup, placed 13th in the Chaux Neuve, France.
Demong jumped to a 35th place start position and then proceeded to turn in the 7th fastest ski time of the day to climb through the rankings.
He came in at the head of a chase pack of seven skiers, 1:17.4 behind winner Miko Kokslien of Norway.
The Norwegians swept the podium with Magnus Krog and Jørgen Graabak rounding out the top-3. Teammate Magnus Moan was 5th.
“Today was a decent day,” Demong said in a USSA press release. “Tough conditions on the hill with changing wind and I was a little disappointed with the jump especially after the good provisional yesterday, but the conditions on the course were some of my favorite: deep slushy snow and a hard track. So I really went out and tried to ski a well-paced race and was pretty excited that I felt as good as I did at the end, able to dig deep and push hard to the line!”
Bryan Fletcher, the only other American to race, finished 28th after a 38th place jump.
Racing continues on Sunday in France with a team sprint competition.No comments
January 5th, 2014
If you can ski fast enough to overcome almost any deficit on skis, who needs jumping? Not U.S. Ski Team member Taylor Fletcher, as he demonstrated in the World Cup competition this weekend in Chaikovski, Russia. His jump score put him in 49th place with a 3:05 deficit on Saturday and 43rd place with a 2:15 deficit on Sunday.
Not to be deterred, Fletcher turned on the afterburners and skied the fastest time of the day by 38 seconds on Saturday, passing 43 people to finish in sixth place overall, 35.4 seconds behind overall winner Tim Hug of Switzerland (27:44.9). On Sunday he matched that performance, again turning in the fastest ski time on the 10-kilometer course, to place 6th again, finishing 40.9 seconds behind winner Wilhelm Denifl of Austria (26:11.0).
“I knew it was possible to move up a fair amount because the course was a great match for my skiing,” Fletcher said regarding Saturday’s results. “I went out super strong because …I wanted to get through [a lot of other racers] so I had open trails ahead.”
Fletcher was not sure, at first, that his apparent success was real.
“I was concerned because I made so much time up so quickly and I thought I was going to crash hard but I just kept going.”
But it was real. He said he was surprised by how much faster than the rest of the field he was.
“There were some strong skiers here that I never thought I would catch,” he said.
“It just goes to show that it is not over after jumping” Head Coach Dave Jarrett said in a USSA press release.
Still, with so much room for improvement in his jumping, Fletcher is eager to see what he can do. With two more World Cups coming up January 11-12 in Chaux Neuve, France and January 17-19 in Seefeld, Austria, Fletcher knows the podium is within reach.
“I feel better with these results. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but I will get it. Jumping is getting better and I feel confident going into the next couple weeks.”
As for the Olympics? First things first, Fletcher says.
“I have two more weekends of World Cup that I am really looking forward to. Last year I really got into a good zone and I look forward to doing that again. [Then I] will go home and rest and prepare for the goal of the winter.”
This weekend’s results put Taylor in 20th place overall in the World Cup standings. Top 50 is needed to qualify for the Sochi Olympics. In the US rankings, Fletcher is led only by his brother, Bryan Fletcher, who is ranked 17th. Rounding out North Americans also in the World Cup standings are Bill Demong, 37th, and Todd Lodwick, 50th.No comments
December 28th, 2013
Todd Lodwick is a performer. The five-time U.S. Olympian successfully earned a ticket to his sixth Games with a victory on Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah.
According to USSA, the 37-year-old Lodwick is the first American to make a sixth Olympic team. His first Olympics were nearly 20 years ago at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
“It’s a daunting and humbling statement, but I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind, even before this competition, that I was going to make my sixth team as long as I trained hard and competed well,” Lodwick said in a press release.
The U.S. Nordic Combined veteran bested teammate Billy Demong in the jump Saturday morning, and went on to hold his 36-second lead to the finish in the afternoon 10 k at Utah Olympic Park.
“I haven’t been this nervous for a competition for a really long time,” Lodwick said. “I think that is something that I’ve been missing a little on the World Cup tour. Today there was a lot on the line. And to be in front of friends, family and supportive people who have traveled so far to cheer us on as nordic combined skiers and as the legacy of the sport is overwhelming.”
Bryan Fletcher took second, 17.3 seconds after Lodwick, and Demong placed third. Aside from Lodwick, the rest of the U.S. Olympic team will be selected based on World Cup results and named Jan. 22.
NBC will recap Saturday’s nordic-combined trials and live stream the ski-jumping trials on Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. EST.No comments
December 27th, 2013
Several Americans will be contending for a guaranteed Olympic spot on Saturday at the U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic trials in Park City, Utah. The HS-100 jumping competition starts Saturday at 10:15 MST and the two-lap 10 k race will take place at 2 p.m.
After Saturday’s NoCo events, men’s and women’s ski jumping will hold their own Olympic trials on Sunday with NBC live streaming the events (and recapping the nordic-combined trials) from 1:30-3 p.m. EST.
SCHEDULE (via US Ski Team)
All events at Utah Olympic Park
Saturday, Dec. 28 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Nordic Combined
- Nordic Combined Trial Jump – 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. MST
- Nordic Combined Competition Jump – 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. MST
- Nordic Combined 10k (4×2.5k) – 2:00 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. MST
- Nordic Combined Awards Ceremony – 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MST
Sunday, Dec. 29 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Ski Jumping
- Men’s and Women’s Trial Jump – 11:10 a.m. – 11:38 a.m. MST
- Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 1 – 11:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. MST
- Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 2 – 12:36 p.m. – 12:52 p.m. MST
- Men’s and Women’s Awards Ceremony – 1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. MST