Bryan Fletcher moves up in the pack at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Predazzo, Italy. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Feb. 22) - Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) moved up from 19th after the jump to finish 14th in the opening nordic combined event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. France's Jason Lamy Chappuis took gold in a hard fought battle with four skiers racing to a near dead heat.
Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the U.S. Ski Team finishing 14th in the opening nordic combined event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme.
Fletcher jumped to 19th and powered his way through the field up to 14th.
Sporadic winds created significant gaps from the jumping competition which was accentuated by a grueling course that featured significant climbs on each of the four 2.5k loops through the stadium in Lago di Tesero.
Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) was 23rd, Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) 25th and Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 35th.
Nordic combined action continues Sunday with the 4x5k team event.
QUOTES Bryan Fletcher After jumping Overall I'm happy and I'm headed into the cross country round with good feelings. I'm not going to set any expectations on myself. Obviously I'm capable of being up there and would love to be on the podium. But for me anything in the top 10 is a good result. I'm just going to go out there and give it what I've got. You couldn't ask for better conditions. There's a little bit of wind on the hill but that's ok – it's better headwind than tailwind.
After race I was happy with the race today. It’s a strong race and, obviously, I wasn’t in optimum jumping position at the end. I was just really going out there just to see how I felt and open up World Champs with just a good solid opening race and that’s exactly what it was. I felt strong and think that if I can continue to race this strong throughout the rest of the races and with a little better jumping I’m in the fight. So I’m happy.
Todd Lodwick After jumping I'm psyched that I jumped over 90 meters. It's a good thing – I never like to see an eight (scores). It's right at par for where I've been jumping all week so it's all I can expect. The hill is in awesome shape. The expectation this afternoon is to have fun and do what I've been doing. I'm excited to transfer all of this confidence and atmosphere onto the cross country course.
Having this be my ninth World Championships, I take every day as it is and it's a blessing that I get to come here and do this and perform in front of people. I do what I love to do and I'm fortunate that I have the teammates and coaches and the ability and help to be able to do this.
Billy Demong After race I guess today I tried to trial a good race and just pace myself well. It’s a tough course. I think it’s important to have the mentality that I’m going to jump better and be in a position in one of these next races. I felt like I started pretty controlled and just tried to negative split the laps and had a lot of energy in the last couple rounds and made up a lot of time when everybody else started to kind of slow down a little bit. Yea I think it was a good unfortunate training day, but I have good confidence for the next couple races.
HELP THE TEAM Athletes on the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team rely on the support of the American public to be Best in the World. If you believe in athletes like Billy Demong, Todd Lodwick, Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher, click here to support the team.