Bryan Fletcher celebrates his first career World Cup win in Holmenkollen, He soared to third in the jump and then skied a strong cross country race to cap his season. (NordicFocus)
OLSO, Norway (March 10) - Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) capped a breakout season with a career first victory in the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup season finale at Holmenkollen in Oslo. Fletcher, whose previous best came last month in fourth, jumped to third and skied a strong and strategic cross country race to take a 2.3 second win over Norway's Mikko Kokslien. Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) was fourth as France's Jason Lamy Chappuis held on to take the season title. Fletcher's win was the first for the USA since Demong in January, 2010 and came in the Super Bowl of his sport.
Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) soared to third in the jump and skied a strong cross country race to take his career first World Cup win.
The Holmenkollen Ski Festival Nordic Combined World Cup is considered the most prestigious in the sport – the Super Bowl of nordic combined.
Fletcher became the fifth American to win a World Cup (Billy Demong, Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick, Kerry Lynch).
He is the fourth American to win the King's Cup (Billy Demong 2009, Kerry Lynch 1983, John Bower 1968).
Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) came from 19th after the jump to finish fourth.
Fletcher's win was the first for the USA since Billy Demong won in Val di Fiemme in January, 2010.
France's Jason Lamy Chappuis won the season title in a tough fight with Japan's Akito Watabe.
Saturday marked the First U.S. Holmenkollen win since Todd Lodwick in 1998.
American John Bower won the prestigious King's Cup in 1968.
QUOTES Bryan Fletcher This is a dream come true. To win in Holmenkollen is every nordic combined athlete's dream. To have it be my first makes it even better. After having such a great season and for this to be the stamp to it is amazing. Just going into today I was thinking that the only goal I didn't accomplish this season was a podium. I spoke too soon! This is unbelievable.
I gave it all I had and left it all out on the course. The race was brutal. The first couple of laps I was trying to stay controlled and by the third lap I was hurting really bad and I was hoping I could hang on to it for the fourth lap. When I got halfway through the fourth lap and started to realize there was a possibility of being on the podium, there was even more motivation to make it a win.
I went out after the jumping knowing I could be on the podium with a good race. I also knew with a really good race I could win and Bill (Demong) kind of encouraged me. He said, "Go out and just put your head down and go." He said the first win he ever received was after a fourth-place finish just recently so I kind of went with the same thing and put my head down and went. The motivation of winning in Holmenkollen, Oslo was enough and I was able to hang on.
I was born and raised in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I grew up there jumping and sking just starting out as a hobby. I am a cancer survivor so for me nordic combined was a thing to keep my mind off the chemo treatments when I was young. I fell in love with it and have been doing it ever since and I don’t think I would change a thing about it.
I really want to thank all of the supporters along the way. I have to thank Billy [Demong], Johnny [Spillane] and all my teammates for showing me the way, too. Because without them it would be impossible to get to where they've been.