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Moan Wins in Trondheim; Taylor Fletcher Skis from 44th to 14th (with Video)

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Norway’s Magnus Moan overcame a 30-second starting deficit to take the lead two kilometers into Thursday’s 10-kilometer individual race and win his 24th career World Cup in Trondheim, Norway.

Moan jumped to 10th on the large hill and posted the fourth-fastest ski time en route to the win in 24:22.9. He bested Germany’s Fabian Riessle, who started eighth and finished second, by 13.3 seconds and Italy’s Alessandro Pittin, who jumped to 21st and skied the third-fastest 10 k for third, by 18.2 seconds.

With the Overall World Cup title under wraps, Eric Frenzel of Germany led after the jump and ended up 10th (+42.9).

Taylor Fletcher of the U.S. skied up from 44th and 2:04 back to 14th (+1:14.5) with the fastest ski time.

“I was so close to having excellent day,” Fletcher tweeted on Thursday. “I was a little to [sic] aggressive after the takeoff that killed the jump, but I had a hell of a xc race!”

His brother Bryan Fletcher jumped to 41st and placed 25th (+1:37.9) with the seventh-fastest ski time. The third American, Adam Loomis finished 31st (+2:04) after ranking 45th in the jump and 12th in the 10 k.

The Nordic Combined World Cup concludes Saturday with a final individual competition in Oslo, Norway.


U.S. NoCo in Trondheim (Video)

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

U.S. Nordic Combined has two more World Cup competitions on the docket, and Fast Big Dog caught up with the team on Tuesday during a training day in Trondheim, Norway.

The two remaining individual competitions start Thursday with the large hill/10 k in Trondheim, followed by Saturday’s large hill/15 k in Oslo, Norway.


Trouble viewing video above? Click here.

Fletcher Brothers Land in the Top 10; Three Different Americans in the Points in Chaux-Neuve

Monday, January 12th, 2015
Bryan Fletcher racing to eighth in the 10 k individual on Saturday at the World Cup in Chaux-Neuve, France. (Photo: Graham Longford)

Bryan Fletcher leads Germany’s Björn Kircheisen in Saturday’s 10 k individual at the World Cup in Chaux-Neuve, France. Fletcher went on to place eighth, and his brother Taylor Fletcher was fifth. (Photo: Graham Longford)

With the conditions too soggy for jumping, organizers switched Saturday’s Nordic Combined World Cup competition in Chaux-Neuve, France, from a team sprint to an individual race — using Friday’s provisional jump as the standard — which was fine by the Fletcher brothers.

Bryan Fletcher jumped to 25th and Taylor Fletcher positioned himself in 27th on Friday to put Bryan 1:42 and Taylor 2:04 minutes back for Saturday’s individual 10 k.

By the end of the day, both landed in the top 10 with Taylor skiing the fastest 10 k of anyone in the field and finishing fifth, 21.8 seconds behind Norwegian winner Magnus Moan. Bryan placed eighth, 14 seconds after his brother, for his third-individual top 10 of the season. It was Taylor’s first individual top 10 on the World Cup this winter.

“It’s a great feeling to produce this result and share the top 10 with my brother,” Taylor said in a USSA press release. “I thought a podium was a possibility as I was pulling in [Austria’s Bernhard] Gruber and [Norway’s Magnus] Krog but I ran out power with a half kilometer to go.”

While Krog took second and Gruber finished third, 12 seconds ahead of Taylor, Moan won for the second straight day in Chaux-Neuve (after another individual large-hill competition on Friday).

Adam Loomis (47) leads U.S. teammate Billy Demong (54) in Saturday's 10 k at the World Cup in Chaux-Neuve, France. Demong placed 32nd and Loomis finished 34th.   (Photo: Graham Longford)

Adam Loomis (47) leads U.S. teammate Billy Demong (54) in Saturday’s 10 k at the World Cup in Chaux-Neuve, France. Demong placed 32nd and Loomis finished 34th. (Photo: Graham Longford)

Also for the U.S., Billy Demong finished just outside the points in 32nd and Adam Loomis was 34th a day after scoring his first World Cup points in 21st. Also on Friday, Bryan Fletcher placed 20th and Taylor was 35th.

“Another great step in the right direction today,” U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett said. “Taylor and Bryan skied very well. Honestly we were hoping for all guys to be in the points today but Billy crashed in the third lap. Adam did a good job as well and almost skied into points too.”

Saturday’s results

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.




Fletcher Earns First National Title in Placid; Hendrickson & Fairall Victorious

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Bryan Fletcher earned his first U.S. national title Sunday at the 2015 U.S. Ski jumping and Nordic Combined Nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y. The 28-year-old was able to hold off his younger brother, Taylor Fletcher, after having a strong jump that gave him a 1:36 advantage. Taylor, who earned the fastest rollerski time on the day finished second overall. Adam Loomis placed third.
“This is awesome! I’ve been chasing the national title for a while. I think that I’ve been third like four or five times. Every time, including last year, I was really disappointed with my jumping. I would have an amazing (roller ski) race, but still wind up in third place because I was quite a bit back,” Fletcher told USSA.
“I could feel him [Taylor] and I could see him on a couple of sections. There were a few places where we would pass each other going opposite directions, and every time he was inching a little bit closer, so that was a little bit nerve-racking. But in the end, even with him chipping away hard, I was getting more excited reaching the finish line and I came in hot,” he said.
There were two athletes in the women’s competition: Tara Geraghty-Moats, of Women’s Ski Jumping USA, who won and also placed third in the U.S. Ski Jumping Championships, and runner-up Gabby Armstrong.
The K95 U.S. Ski Jumping Championships also took place at Lake Placid’s Olympic Jumping Complex on Sunday, with Sarah Hendrickson winning her third national title and Nick Fairall winning the men’s competition for his second national title.
Hendrickson edged teammate Jessica Jerome with a second jump of 97.5 meters, according to a USSA press release. Fairall, who won the 2014 Olympic Trials last season, was tied with Anders Johnson through the first round, then leapt 100.5 meters on his second jump. The two competitions for first were the closest in recent nationals history. Will Rhoads placed third in the men’s comp.

Lodwick Locks Up Olympic Spot at U.S. NoCo Trials

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Todd Lodwick is a performer. The five-time U.S. Olympian successfully earned a ticket to his sixth Games with a victory on Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Park City, Utah.

According to USSA, the 37-year-old Lodwick is the first American to make a sixth Olympic team. His first Olympics were nearly 20 years ago at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

“It’s a daunting and humbling statement, but I don’t think there was any doubt in my mind, even before this competition, that I was going to make my sixth team as long as I trained hard and competed well,” Lodwick said in a press release.

The U.S. Nordic Combined veteran bested teammate Billy Demong in the jump Saturday morning, and went on to hold his 36-second lead to the finish in the afternoon 10 k at Utah Olympic Park.

“I haven’t been this nervous for a competition for a really long time,” Lodwick said. “I think that is something that I’ve been missing a little on the World Cup tour. Today there was a lot on the line. And to be in front of friends, family and supportive people who have traveled so far to cheer us on as nordic combined skiers and as the legacy of the sport is overwhelming.”

Bryan Fletcher took second, 17.3 seconds after Lodwick, and Demong placed third. Aside from Lodwick, the rest of the U.S. Olympic team will be selected based on World Cup results and named Jan. 22.

NBC will recap Saturday’s nordic-combined trials and live stream the ski-jumping trials on Sunday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. EST.


U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic Trials on Saturday

Friday, December 27th, 2013
Snow is set on the 2.5k cross country track while the jumps stand ready in the background for this weekend's Olympic Trials for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Utah Olympic Park. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)

Snow is set on the 2.5k cross country track while the jumps stand ready in the background for this weekend’s Olympic Trials for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined at the Utah Olympic Park. (Photo: US Ski Team/Tom Kelly)

Several Americans will be contending for a guaranteed Olympic spot on Saturday at the U.S. Nordic Combined Olympic trials in Park City, Utah. The HS-100 jumping competition starts Saturday at 10:15 MST and the two-lap 10 k race will take place at 2 p.m.

After Saturday’s NoCo events, men’s and women’s ski jumping will hold their own Olympic trials on Sunday with NBC live streaming the events (and recapping the nordic-combined trials) from 1:30-3 p.m. EST.

Bryan Fletcher in the competition jump at the Ramsau World Cup last weekend.

Bryan Fletcher (U.S. Nordic Combined) jumping at the Ramsau World Cup last weekend.


SCHEDULE (via US Ski Team)

All events at Utah Olympic Park

Saturday, Dec. 28 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Nordic Combined

  • Nordic Combined Trial Jump – 9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined Competition Jump – 10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined 10k (4×2.5k) – 2:00 p.m. – 2:35 p.m. MST
  • Nordic Combined Awards Ceremony – 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. MST

Sunday, Dec. 29 – 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials – Ski Jumping

  • Men’s and Women’s Trial Jump – 11:10 a.m. – 11:38 a.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 1 – 11:50 a.m. – 12:05 p.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Competition Jump 2 – 12:36 p.m. – 12:52 p.m. MST
  • Men’s and Women’s Awards Ceremony – 1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. MST

‘Bittersweet’ Weekend for Bryan Fletcher at Schonach World Cup (Updated)

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

A weekend of World Cup competition in Schonach, Germany, yielded good results for American Bryan Fletcher, especially on Sunday as he rose from 26th to ninth in the individual normal hill/10 k.

Saturday’s individual competition was dominated by Norwegians, with Magnus Moan taking first place in 24:58.5 and Haavard Klemetsen taking second 4.3 second later. On Sunday, France’s Jason Lamy Chappuis narrowly won in 23:47.1 and Germany’s Johannes Rydzek was just 0.7 seconds behind in second. Japan’s Akito Watabe showed remarkable consistency, getting third place both days, each time less than 1 second behind second place.

On Saturday, Fletcher was the lone American to qualify for the competition. He ranked 31st in the jump, then went on to ski up to 18th, 1:07.8 out of first, which he described as “bittersweet” after crashing in the race. On Sunday, he jumped to 26th in the provisional round which ended up being used to seed the cross-country race (after the competition jump was canceled).

“Todays conditions were tough,” Fletcher explained in an email. “Really strong winds, rain, warm weather all accounted for the cancellation of the jumping.”

With a “decent jump” putting him in fighting position, he was OK with the call.

“I was just excited to race,” he added. “I was really striving for a top 10 today.”

Fletcher started 58 seconds behind Klemetsen, who led after the jump, and went on to ski the third-fastest 10 k for ninth overall, 14.1 seconds behind Lamy Chappuis.

“I was in the hunt until the last hill and just couldn’t jockey for position in time,” Fletcher wrote. “I had some strategy going into the race to work with some other guys, however after the first lap the plan had not worked out. I was out alone and unfortunately had to spend a lot of energy on my own to catch the front group. But once I made contact I did my best to recover and try and gain spots on the hill, which was about the only place wide enough to ski two wide.”

Rounding out U.S. Nordic Combined’s results on Sunday were Taylor Fletcher in 31st place (+1:38.8), Todd Lodwick in 44th (+2:22), and Brett Denney in 51st (+2:59.7).
In Saturday’s race, Bryan wrote that he got tangled up with another skier and fell, yet skied the 11th-fastest time.
“I got up and still managed to get back to 14th place but was out printed by the group I was leading at the line landing me in 18th,” he wrote. “I also found out shortly after the race I had skied the entire fourth lap on a broken ski and I am sure that accounted for a bit of the fatigue. So despite the unfortunate luck I would say it went well for as bad as it went. … I am happy about this weekend, mostly happy to end on a top 10 just in time to head home for the holidays and Gold Cup on the 28th.”

Results: Saturday | Sunday

Comeback Kid: Fletcher Goes from 30th to Seventh, Demong Notches Ninth for U.S.

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Eric Frenzel of Germany jumped third and raced to first on Sunday for his third World Cup win this season, taking the 10 k individual Gundersen title by 5.3 seconds in 21:52.4. But he only started 8 seconds behind the leader.

Not taking anything away from Frenzel, the current World Cup overall leader, or Norway’s Haavard Klemetsen, who led the jump then finished second. But there were guys like Norwegian Mikko Kokslein that rose from the depths — 32nd in the jump to third overall — that really impressed in Sunday in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria.

Kokslein posted the fastest 10 k in 20:45.0 to finish just 0.3 seconds out of second. Norway’s Magnus Krog placed fourth (+6.3) after starting 13th, Japan’s Akito Watabe jumped to eighth and finish fifth (+7.1), and Germany’s Fabian Riessle started 29th to place sixth (+7.6) with the third-fastest time.

Then there was Bryan Fletcher, who teamed up with Todd Lodwick on Saturday to bring the U.S. from 14th to a historic fourth in the team sprint. Fletcher’s jump ranked 30th out of 47 on Sunday, and the 27-year-old Colorado native skied up to seventh with the second-fastest time, 8.3 seconds behind Kokslein. After starting a minute and 9 seconds behind Klemetsen, Fletcher ended up just 9.9 seconds behind Frenzel as the winner and 4.3 seconds off the podium.

“Jumping was not my strongest today but I was in the hunt and thats the only thing that matters,” Fletcher wrote in an email. “I know I can improve and I am looking forward to more chances and opportunities to improve next week in [Schonach, Germany].
“I was surprised to see 2nd fastest time on the results sheet,” he added. “I was just focused on skiing my race and trying not to get caught up in any of the pack scrambles.”

In his first race of the weekend, Billy Demong posted the 16th-best jump and eighth-fastest time to tally ninth (+10.6), his best individual result of the season. He was four-tenths of a second behind Austria’s Lukas Klapfer in eighth.

“I’ve been really focused on jumping this summer and really laid a solid foundation and built into good form which unfortunately did not translate right away in competition,” Demong wrote in an email. “But I am starting to feel really good on the hill now and also feel room for improvement.

“I thought I could be maybe make the podium and I really felt that I skied a well paced and executed race but when 15 guys hit the final climb together I chose a bad line and got caught up at one pony coming to a stop,” he explained. “I’m happy though I had good energy throughout the race and pushed over the top of all the climbs really hard.”

Lodwick placed 33rd (+1:22.8) after starting 40th and skiing the 26th-fastest time.

“All in all I think that we are showing that we are coming into form and that 3 top tens and near podiums with pretty average performance gives us confidence of good things to come!” Demong wrote.


Bryan Fletcher, Lodwick Rally from 14th to Fourth in Ramsau Team Sprint

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Starting 14th of 20 teams in Saturday’s World Cup team sprint, US Nordic Combined’s Bryan Fletcher and Todd Lodwick put down ferocious 2 x 7.5 k lap times to finish fourth, just over a second off the podium in Ramsau, Austria.

Norway’s first team of Mikko Kokslein and Jørgen Graabak won the event in 33:59.3, just 8.2 seconds ahead of Norway II’s Haavard Klemetsen and Magnus Krog in second. Italy took third with Samuel Costa and Alessandro Pittin, 8.8 seconds behind the winners and 1.2 ahead of Fletcher and Lodwick, who combined for the fastest cross-country time.

The second U.S. team, Brett Denney and Taylor Fletcher placed 15th.