Billy Demong and Taylor Fletcher work their way through the pack at FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. (U.S. Ski Team - Sarah Brunson)
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (Feb. 28) - Germany's Eric Frenzel skied to an easy gold, leading the large hill jump and putting nearly 40 seconds on the field in cross country for his first medal of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) and Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) set a blistering pace in cross country finishing 15th and 17th. The Championships conclude Saturday for nordic combined with the team sprint.
Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) moved up from 25th in the jump to 15th overall in the large hill nordic combined competition at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme.
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) jumped 24th and was 17th overall.
Demong turned in the fastest cross country time with Taylor Fletcher second.
Erratic wind conditions created unusual situations in the jump, creating a large time gap back to the U.S. athletes even though some, including Demong, had strong jumps.
Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 23rd, Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) 30th.
Combined action concludes at the Championships Saturday with the team sprint.
QUOTES Billy Demong Today was definitely a much better jumping day for me but conditions really flipped midway. In the second half they lowered the gate and there was a lot of headwind. But I definitely had one of my best executions. Given a normal day would have had a chance to ski up.
Going into the race we were quite a ways back. I talked with Bryan and Taylor about working together. Taylor and I picked off 10-15 people and I felt really good through the finish.
It gives me hope that if I can continue to improve on jumping I can fight for the podium again.
Taylor Fletcher I was really happy with my jump but the wind got better and the better jumpers were able to go further. That put me two minutes, 11 seconds back. I had a great race but we had no chance to make it close to the top 10 I felt like Bill and I skied a solid race and you can be happy with that but we wanted so much more.