Americans Taylor and Bryan Fletcher teamed up for an 11th-place showing in the two-man team sprint on Saturday, before taking individual top-20’s in the 10 k competition at the summer Grand Prix in Oberwiesenthal, Germany.
“For the race I have to be happy,” Taylor Fletcher said of Saturday’s team sprint, in a U.S. Ski Team press release. “It was our first race of the year and it’s always hard to know where you stand against the European teams as we have no contact at all until these comps.”
Austria’s Harald Lemmerer and Bernhard Gruber won the team competition by 13.2 seconds over countrymen David Pommer and Mario Seidl.
The Fletchers had been ranked 13th after jumping, but moved up in the rollerski portion through the Oberwiesenthal streets. The second U.S. team of Ben Berend and Jasper Good finished 22nd.
On Sunday, Gruber was disqualified for an early start in the rollerski pursuit, and instead of the Austrians it was Germans who dominated. Eric Frenzel had the best jump and coasted to an 11.3-second win over Johannes Rydzek, with Fabian Riessle completing a podium sweep for the home team.
Taylor Fletcher skied from 29th up to 12th after the jump, thanks to the second-fastest ski time, and Bryan Fletcher moved from 27th to 19th.
“The race was in the heart of the city, which is always very fun with a good amount of people that come to watch,” Taylor Fletcher said in the press release. “I started pretty close to how I wanted and not like I always do too which is too hard at the beginning. I think my middle lap may have been pretty hard which killed me for the last lap but I went hard till 150 meters when all I could think about was a cold shower and getting out of the 33C [91 F] heat.”
Adam Loomis placed 28th and Michael Ward 29th to round out the U.S. scoring. Ward had the fourth-fastest ski time of the day, moving up from 46th after the jump.
“Extremely happy with my performance today at my first Summer Grand Prix,” he wrote on Instagram. “It was a personal best and I hope there is more to come!”