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Archive for December, 2014

U.S. Takes Fifth in Team Relay in Ramsau

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

World Cup Nordic Combined competition continued in Ramsau, Austria, this weekend with a team 4×5-kilometer event on Saturday and an individual 10 k competition on Sunday.

In Saturday’s team event Norway took first place in 45:41.1, chased closely by Germany, who took second place in a photo finish, only 0.1 seconds behind. France was third (+0:06.5), Austria fourth (+0:12.5) and the U.S. took fifth out of the 12 nations, 1:49.3 behind Norway.Strong winds on Saturday required that Friday’s provisional jump be used in Saturday’s competition. Overall winner Norway ranked third in jumping, while second place Germany was ranked first in jumping. The U.S. team, composed of Bryan Fletcher, Adam Loomis, Taylor Fletcher and Billy Demong, ranked eighth in jumping before kicking in the skiing to advance three spots.

First-leg Bryan Fletcher advanced the team one spot to seventh, second-leg Adam Loomis had the third-fastest course time, advancing the team to fifth place, Taylor Fletcher held fifth, posting the fastest ski time of the third leg, and anchor-leg Demong posted the seventh fastest course time to finish in fifth overall.

In spite of crashing twice on the race course, France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis took first in Sunday’s individual 10 k, besting Norway’s Mikko Kokslien by just 0.2 seconds, followed closely by Germany’s Fabian Riessle 0.7 seconds later.

Demong was the only American to jump into qualification Sunday. Demong’s jump earned him 48th place in competition, before speeding through the ski with the 16th fastest time of the day, earning him 32nd overall.

Complete results SaturdaySunday

Austria’s Druml Dominates Park City Continental Cup Weekend, Taylor Fletcher 5th

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

(USSA press release)

PARK CITY, UT (Dec. 13, 2014) – Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) just missed closing the gap to the podium, moving up from 20th in jumping to finish fifth in a FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup competition at Gorgoza Park outside Park City. Austria’s Tomaz Druml swept the weekend wins, this time in a narrow head-to-head battle with Italy’s Lukas Runggaldier. Jump leader Yusuke Minato hung on for third.

The pair of competitions were run by the Soldier Hollow organizing committee, with jumping at the Utah Olympic Park and cross country moved to the Gorgoza Park tubing hill.

The win for Druml came in a hard-fought battle, just a day after he led an Austrian podium sweep. Jump leader Minato set a strong early pace. Druml, who had been fifth in jumping and started 24 seconds back, combined forces with Runggaldier, who was eighth, another two seconds back. The two teamed up and moved quickly up to catch Minato, but could never shake him through to the finish. The lead went back and forth the entire way, with Druml putting in a strong finish push to take the victory and claim a spot on the Austrian team for next weekend’s planned World Cup in Ramsau, Austria.

Fletcher, who had a better jump than in the opening competition, still needed to make up a minute, 36 seconds. He set a torrid pace, but could not bridge the final gap from fifth up to the podium.

Fletcher and teammate Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY), who was 17th, led the USA. Also finishing in the points were Michael Ward (Aspen, CO) was 28th and Colin Delaney (Lake Placid, NY) 29th, for his first Continental Cup points. Jasper Good (Steamboat Springs, CO) just missed the points in 32nd, Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI) was 35th – both career bests – and Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO) 40th.

Saturday’s results

 

Austrians Sweep Park City Continental Cup Opener; Taylor Fletcher Leads U.S. in 8th

Friday, December 12th, 2014

(USSA press release)

PARK CITY, Utah (Dec. 12, 2014) — It was a grueling day at the Gorgoza Park tubing hill with tough and icy 10k cross country course. Defending FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup champion Tomaz Druml came from behind to lead an Austrian podium sweep in the season-opener in Park City. Druml came from a 40-second deficit to teammate Lukas Greiderer after Thursday’s jumping round to take the win by over 16 seconds. Marco Pichlmayer was third.

Olympian Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the USA, moving up from 26th after the jump to eighth. Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) was 13th.

Crews from the Olympic venue of Soldier Hollow moved the event to the Gorgoza Park location between Park City and Parley’s Summit, crafting a 1.5k loop that took athletes up the tubing hill three times on each of six laps. The course featured punshing uphills followed by screaming-fast downhills, making it a test of skill and fitness.

Greiderer held a very narrow lead after the jump over Germany’s Tobias Simon and Phillipp Blaurock. A fast-charging Druml had broken into the lead group by the second lap, with Simon and Blaurock slowly dropping back. Picklmayer, meanwhile, hooked up with Olympic champion Demong, who started just two seconds before him, and used Demong to pace through the midway mark of the race before pushing up to take third as Druml slow ran away with the lead.

Fletcher, meanwhile, posted the third fastest cross country leg of the day but his over two-minute gap was just too much to close. Fletcher and Demong had been hoping for a podium spot to seal a World Cup quota spot for the U.S. Ski Team.

Friday’s results

Bryan Fletcher Rockets from 36th to 8th in Lillehammer; Loomis Gets Career Best 35th

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Thirty-fourth one day, eighth the next.

Thirty-sixth in the jumping portion of Sunday’s World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway, Bryan Fletcher of the U.S. Nordic Combined Team flew on his cross-country skis in the following 10 k, posting the second-fastest time and ultimately finishing eighth, 6 seconds behind Norwegian winner Mikko Kokslien.

While it was the 28-year-old Fletcher’s best finish since last January, when he was fifth in a mini tour in Seefeld, Austria, Kokslien had a similar rise on Sunday — winning in 24:11.8 after ranking 38th in the jump. Germany’s Fabian Riessle went from 31st to second, finishing just 0.3 seconds behind Kokslien, and another 0.6 seconds behind, France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis was third (after dropping from second in the jump with the 21st-ranked ski time).

Also for the U.S., Adam Loomis tallied a career-best 35th (+2:24), with the 46th-ranked jump and 11th-fastest ski time.

“Today was a great race,” Fletcher said in a U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association (USSA) press release. “I was really happy with my skiing both physically and tactically. Getting in the top-10 was a big confidence booster and a huge relief heading into the week break. I am really looking forward to Ramsau’s events in two weeks to continue making progress.”

The Nordic Combined World Cup picks up again in two weeks in Ramsau, Austria, and according to USSA, many of the top Americans will return to the U.S. in that time for a pair of Continental Cup races Thursday through Saturday in Park City, Utah.

Results

 

 

Frenzel Wins NC World Cup in Lillehammer

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Eric Frenzel won Saturday’s Nordic Combined World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway. The German clocked an overall time of 25:01.9 and was joined by his teammate Fabian Riessle on the podium in second, 2.7 seconds back. Jan Schmid of Norway was third, 12.3 seconds behind.

The top North American finish was was the only North American finisher, Bryan Fletcher, who placed 34th and 154.6 seconds from Frenzel.

Results

Fletcher Brothers Up from 18th to 13th in Ruka Team Sprint

Monday, December 1st, 2014

After jumping to a combined 18th, Bryan and Taylor Fletcher improved to 13th, 2:34 behind the winners, in Sunday’s 2 x 7.5 k team sprint at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland.

Norway’s Håvard Klemetsen and Jørgen Graabak won the competition ahead of Germany (Bjoern Kircheisen/Eric Frenzel) in second (+24.9) and France (Jason Lamy Chappuis/Francois Braud) in third (+31.2). The second U.S. team, with Brett Denney and Adam Loomis, placed 19th (+5:12).

“Today was a tough day,” Taylor said in a U.S. Ski Team press release. “We both raced pretty decently but jumping was a challenge.”

“I didn’t nail my comp jump, which didn’t put us in the hunt,” Bryan said. “However we have shifted focus and we are preparing for the next comps in Lillehammer where I hope to improve and show some better jumping there. This weekend was certainly below average for me on the jump hill, and I know I am capable of higher quality moving forward.”

“We feel confident that it will be fighting next weekend and be able to get the season started on a stronger note,” Taylor added. “Kuusamo is just a very hard start to the season and a number of things can go wrong, at least we kept the tips up and for the most part head above water.”

Results