Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) moves the U.S. Nordic Combined Team up from 10th to sixth in the team sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. (U.S. Ski Team - Sarah Brunson)
VAL DI FIEMME, Italy (March 2) - Strong sprinting by Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) moved the U.S. Ski Team up from tenth to finish sixth in the first ever nordic combined team sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Germany took the lead after jumping, but France went on to win over Austria and Germany battled Japan to take bronze. Fletcher started 1:41 back in the cross country portion and had the fastest individual time while Demong continued to move the U.S. Ski Team up the field.
Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) moved the U.S. Ski Team up from tenth to finish sixth in the first ever nordic combined team sprint at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
France continued its domination of World Champs with a win over Austria and Germany battled Japan to take the bronze.
Demong soared 110.0 meters and Fletcher 112.5 to put the USA into 10th after the jumps in the nordic combined event.
Demong and Fletcher started 1:41 back from leading Germany in the cross country portion.
Strong work at the start by Taylor Fletcher moved the team up the field, and Billy Demong continued to pull the USA up to the sixth spot.
USA had second fastest cross country time behind France.
Taylor Fletcher had the fastest individual cross country time.
Saturday’s event was the first ever nordic combined team sprint in World Champs.
Two skiers per team each skied a 1.5k lap five times.
Grueling heat with temperatures in mid-50s made for a slow and exhausting course.
The World Cup resumes next weekend with a pair of events, including another team sprint, in Lahti, Finland.
QUOTES Taylor Fletcher It was a hard one. We definitely weren't the happiest people after the jumping. We gave what we had. A minute forty in a race like this is nearly impossible to make up. Bill and I put together a good race and we made up a lot of time. At the end of my last leg we were forty-five seconds from third or second place and that’s impressive in itself. That’s a lot of time to make up - to ski 1.5k at a time. I'm happy with it. This was a great World Championships for me and to come back with a medal is a dream come true. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and try to steal a podium and move myself into the top ten.
It was a pretty good race for us. We didn't go as good as we wanted to on the jump hill. In the race today we had the second fastest team split. It wasn't really up to us today after jumping. We just need to get better on the jump. From my side it's easier to jump further than to ski faster.