Sunday, February 26, 2012
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs Nordic combined skier Bryan Fletcher has been a fixture on the U.S. Ski Team’s World Cup Nordic combined squad for years.
He has never had a day quite like Sunday, though. Competing in a World Cup event in Liberec, Czech Republic, Fletcher soared to the top finish of his career, skiing to fourth place to lead a strong showing by United States skiers.
“Bryan is getting closer and closer to the podium. It will come,” U.S. coach Dave Jarrett said in a press release. “He did a good job today but wasn't quite as strong as Jason (Lamy-Chappuis) and Mario (Stecher).”
Japan’s Akito Watabe won the event, skiing from fourth place to first with the day’s third fastest ski time. Lamy-Chappuis, of France, jumped 10th and finished second, and Mario Stecher, of Austria, went from ninth to finish third.
Fletcher, meanwhile, was sixth after the jump and moved up two spots, finishing 27 seconds off the podium.
“Billy and Taylor also did a good job and we are psyched,” Jarrett said. “Jumping conditions were a little up and down but they stayed focused and performed. We are on the right track.”
Billy Demong was eighth in the event, flying from a 24th-place start to the 10-kilometer ski section. Taylor Fletcher was 20th overall, skiing from 38th. Johnny Spillane finished 29th, Nick Hendrickson was 44th and Brett Denney was 47th.