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Archive for January, 2014

Frenzel Completes Seefeld Triple Sweep; Bryan Fletcher Fifth

Sunday, 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)).

Results

Frenzel Stays Ahead in Seefeld Triple, Germany Goes 1-2 on Day 2

Saturday, 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.

Results

Day 1 video

Frenzel Wins Seefeld Triple Opener; Bryan Fletcher and Demong Nab Season Bests

Friday, 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.

Results

U.S. NoCo Seefeld prep video

Consistent Germans Take Two of Top Three Spots in Chaux-Neuve Team Sprint

Sunday, 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).

Results

Demong 13th in Chaux Neuve World Cup

Sunday, 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.

Results

Taylor Fletcher Overcomes Ho-Hum Jump with Spectacular Skiing for 6th, Twice, at Chaikovski

Sunday, 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.

Complete results: Saturday | Sunday