November 30th, 2015
For the first time in the history of the Nordic Combined World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland, the season-opening competitions had to be canceled because of wind both Saturday and Sunday.
“The wind conditions this weekend have been too strong and in the line of safety for our athletes, we have had no chance to complete any jumps since Friday,” FIS race director Lasse Ottesen said in a press release. “So the World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway, next weekend will be our opening event of the winter 2015/16 and we are very much looking forward to finally get underway.”
What did coaches and athletes do with all that downtime? FIS compiled an assortment of social-media posts.
On Sunday, several Americans, Norwegians, Slovenians and Swiss nordic-combined skiers held a friendly race on the Ruka track. Norway’s Mikko Kokslien “won”, Magnus Krog of Norway was second and American Bryan Fletcher third.
To see the video, click here.No comments
August 31st, 2015
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!”No comments
August 3rd, 2015
Bryan Fletcher notched his second-straight national title on Saturday at the U.S. Nordic Combined Championships at Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah.
After posting the farthest jump on the 134-meter large hill at Utah Olympic Park, Fletcher, 29, started first (with a 26-second head start) in the cross-country rollerski race and held off U.S. Nordic Combined teammate Adam Loomis, 23, for the win. As he crossed the finish line five seconds ahead of Loomis, Fletcher made a point for a mini celebration.
“It was a little close there at the end,” Fletcher told Steamboat Today. “Coming up to the stadium it was a little bit of a sprint to make sure I had a comfortable distance, but then it was getting in a good celebration and pump for the crowd and for me to excitedly celebrate winning the race.”
Fletcher remains the only active U.S. team member to hold a national title. He won last year’s championships in Lake Placid, N.Y. His younger brother, Taylor, placed third on Saturday, finishing 47 seconds after Bryan after starting 1 minute and 4 seconds behind.
“Going into the race I knew I could come home with the victory if I paced it right,” Fletcher said. “I was able to hold off Adam and Taylor who were charging and coming up behind me fast. I knew it was coming in hot. Going into the stadium on the last lap, I knew once I made it over the top of the hill that I had it in the bag.”
U.S. Nordic Combined members Michael Ward, Jasper Good and Ben Berend placed fourth through sixth, respectively. Fifteen men completed the race.
March 15th, 2015
Japan’s Akito Watabe took first in the final World Cup of the season, a 15-kilometer race in Oslo, Norway. With this finish he secured second-place in the overall World Cup standings, behind overall winner Eric Frenzel of Germany, who finished 4th on Saturday (+22.6).
Germany’s Johannes Rydzek took second on Saturday, finishing nine seconds behind Watabe to finish third in the overall standings. Alessandro Pittin, of Italy, took the final spot on the podium (+18.6) after a ferocious ski, making up three minutes over the two 7.5 k laps and posting the fastest time of the day. Pittin finished 11th overall for the season.
Taylor Fletcher was the top American, finishing 21st on Saturday. Fletcher’s strong ski performance, the fourth-fastest of the day, could not make up for a 4:02 start gap after a 27th-ranked jump, and he finished 2:35 behind Watabe. Fletcher finished 27th in the overall standings, the second-ranked American, behind his brother Bryan Fletcher. Bryan Fletcher was the only other American to compete on Saturday, finishing 29th (+5:23.7). His day was sweetened, however, by an overall season finish of 15th, the top result for the U.S.No comments
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.No comments
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.No comments
February 28th, 2015
FALUN, Sweden — Francois Braud and Jason Lamy Chappuis of France catapulted themselves to gold in the 2 x 7.5-kilometer team sprint on Saturday, the last day of nordic combined at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
With that, the 28-year-old Jason Lamy Chappuis, who defended his team sprint title from 2013 World Championships and won his first gold of these worlds, announced this would be his last season.
“Finishing here in Falun with a world championship title, I think is the best way to finish a career,” he told the Associated Press. “I want these memories like today to be forever in my head.”
Lamy Chappuis added that he plans to finish out the World Cup season in March.
First in the jump, Braud and Lamy Chappuis started the two-man sprint 11 seconds ahead of Japan’s Yoshito Watabe and Akito Watabe in second. Germany’s Eric Frenzel and Johannes Rydzek headed out third, 21 seconds out of first, and Norway’s Magnus Moan and Håvard Klemetsen started with a 44-second deficit in fourth.
The U.S., with Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher, jumped to 10th of 12 teams and started 2:04 back.
“Not sure how you get minus wind points and a green light in a headwind comp?” U.S. Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett tweeted after the jumping portion.
Amid the softest, slowest conditions of the two-week championships (the course had been re-groomed after the women’s 30 k classic, but didn’t firm up in the warm temperatures), the Fletchers improved to ninth, 1:59.9 behind France with the fifth-fastest team time in the cross-country race.
France edged out Germany by 2.7 seconds and Norway took bronze, 19.4 seconds out of first.
Finland’s Ilkka Herola and Jim Haertull finished fourth (+1:04.2), Italy was fifth (+1:18.7) with Samuel Costa and Alessandro Pittin, the Watabe brothers placed sixth (+1:25.7), Austria’s Sepp Schneider and Bernhard Gruber were seventh (+1:40.9), and the Czech Republic was eighth (+1:50.4).
After the U.S., Slovenia placed 10th and Estonia was 11th.No comments
February 22nd, 2015
FALUN, Sweden — The U.S. Nordic Combined squad jumped to eighth and skied to seventh overall in Sunday’s 4 x 5-kilometer team event at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
Going into the cross-country portion ranked eighth after the 100-meter jump hill, the four-man U.S. team, consisting of Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Adam Loomis, and Billy Demong attempted to make up time on the German leaders who started 1:39 ahead of them. The American squad was unable to make up ground on the leaders, but moved up to seventh place over the course of the relay.
Bryan Fletcher notched the second-fastest time in the relay’s first leg, while his brother Taylor clocked the fastest time of the second leg. The U.S. stuck with Italy for much of the race, and was advancing on the rest of the competition until Italy charged ahead in the final 5 k.
Germany convincingly won the race with a time of 44:20.7 and was followed by Norway (+23.1) and France (+39.6). Third in the team event at 2013 World Championships, the U.S. finished 2:37.8 back from the winners on Sunday.
February 17th, 2015
Taylor Fletcher won the nordic combined continental cup in Ramsau, Austria Feb. 14 in convincing fashion. Jumping to 21st, the 24-year-old overcame a 1:22 gap to win with a time of 36:16.5. Notching the fastest time on the day, Fletcher bested the rest of the field by 9.4 second.
“I knew I had a chance but it was within grasp on the second lap when we caught the leaders,” Fletcher said to the Steamboat Pilot and Today. “I really tried to stay in the pack and not lead as I am not the best at that and always try to drop the rest. I skied a very tactical race going hard in certain places and easy in others. I had great skis and our B-team tech Tomas Matura did a great job, for sure.”
Adam Loomis was the next U.S. finisher in 20th position. Ben Berend was 40th and Jasper Good was 46th.
Fletcher will look to continue his winning ways at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden, beginning Feb. 18.No comments
February 6th, 2015
PARK CITY, UT (Feb. 5, 2015) – Steamboat Springs skiers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher headline a team of five nordic combined athletes named to compete in the Feb. 18-March 1 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Olympic champion Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) was named to his seventh World Championship Team.
The Taylor brothers have emerged as the Team’s strongest athletes. “Both Bryan and Taylor have shown that with a good jump they are among the fastest guys in nordic combined and can compete for the podium,” said Nordic Combined Head Coach Dave Jarrett.
In addition to the veterans, the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) named two first-time team members, Ben Berend (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Adam Loomis (Eau Claire, WI).
The Championships open in Falun Feb. 18. The entire Championships schedule will be streamed live by the USSA at www.usskiteam.com and will be available on the Live Arena Falun2015 mobile app in America.
Five athletes were named by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to compete in the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships Feb. 18-Mar. 1 in Falun, Sweden.
Taylor Fletcher was on the World Cup podium last month, finishing third in Sapporo, Japan.
Brother Bryan Fletcher has had a strong and consistent season with six top-10 results.
Billy Demong, who made history with his 2010 Olympic gold, was named to his seventh World Championship Team.
Adam Loomis was named to his first Championship Team based on scoring his first World Cup points in January.
Ben Berend will make his debut, being selected based on strong Continental Cup results.
Each of the four nordic combined events will be streamed live on usskiteam.com.
2015 U.S. World Championship Nordic Combined Team
(Name, hometown, birthdate, USSA club, past World Champs)
- Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs, CO, 6/29/95, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
- Billy Demong, Vermontville, NY, 3/29/80, Lake Placid Ski Club (1999, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
- Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 6/27/86, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013)
- Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO, 5/11/90, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (2011, 2013)
- Adam Loomis, Eau Claire, WI, 3/19/92, Eau Claire Flying Eagles Ski Club
FIS Nordic Ski World Championships
Feb. 18 – Opening Ceremony
Feb. 20 – Individual Gundersen start (HS100 meter jump/10k XC)
Feb. 24 – Team Event (HS100 meter jump/4x5k XC)
Feb. 26 – Individual Gundersen start (HS134 meter jump/10k XC)
Feb. 28 – Team Sprint (HS134 meter jump/2×7.5k XC)