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).