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.