Germany’s Johannes Rydzek kicked off the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup season on Saturday with a first-place finish in Ruka (Kuusamo), Finland, with a combined time of 25:32.0. Austrian Bernhard Gruber (+1.0) and Czech Miroslav Dvorak (+6.1) were second and third, respectively.
Bryan Fletcher was the top American, finishing 17th (+1:10.0). In Friday’s provisional jump, Fletcher placed 32nd, a result that a USST press release called “disappointing”. After high winds canceled Saturday’s jump, the provisional jump was used for Saturday’s competition. Fletcher made up for his jump with a strong cross-country leg, posting the sixth-fastest time of the day, steaming the 10-kilometer course in 24:36.9 for 17th overall.
Fletcher was not the only one in his family that had redemption to find on the nordic course: his brother Taylor was in 59th after Friday’s jumping, but poured on the afterburners on the ski leg and managed to post the second-fastest time of the day, 24:11.9. He finished 36th overall, 2:53 behind first-place Rydzek.
Rounding out the American finishes was Adam Loomis in 44th (+3:39.2) and Brett Denney in 62nd (+7:28.6). No Canadians entered Saturday’s competition.