Bryan Fletcher snags career-best |

Bryan Fletcher snags career-best

8th-place finish in World Cup is strongest yet for local Nordic athlete

Pilot & Today staff

Bryan Fletcher

— Steamboat Springs' Bryan Fletcher took eighth place in Sunday's FIS Nordic Combined World Cup event in Ramsau, Austria, using a strong jump to earn the highest finish of his career.

The U.S. Ski Team stated in a news release that Fletcher was 13th after Sunday's jumping portion, starting 29 seconds back of leader Mario Stecher, of Austria, who would go on to win the event. Steamboat's Todd Lodwick was 11th after the jump but finished 18th overall, a day after placing fourth in Saturday's event. Steamboat's Taylor Fletcher finished 37th overall.

Bryan Fletcher put a charge into his cross-country race Sunday to snag his fourth point-scoring finish of the year. The Ski Team stated he began moving up in the ranks after the race's first kilometer and, before the 3-kilometer mark, was "on the heels of Lodwick and World Cup leader Jason Lamy Chappuis, of France."

Lodwick began to fall back midway through the race, while Bryan Fletcher hung with a small group chasing Stecher.

"Moving into the second half of the race, Fletcher found himself in an unusual position — leading an aggressive pack of veterans," the Ski Team release stated. "He held his own, pacing the group into the final two kilometers before (Germany's Tino) Edelmann sprinted ahead to break up the group in a field sprint to the finish for second. No one could catch Stecher."

Edelmann finished second overall, 8.6 seconds behind Stecher. Eric Frenzel, of Germany, finished third, at 10.2 seconds back. Lamy Chappuis was fourth Sunday and continues to lead the World Cup halfway into the season.

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The Ski Team stated Taylor Fletcher had the sixth-fastest cross-country race Sunday, moving up from 58th after the jump to earn his 37th-place finish.

Before today, Bryan Fletcher's best career finish was 18th, three weeks ago in Kuusamo, Finland.

The Ski Team returns home for the holidays before the World Cup resumes in Schonach, Germany, Jan. 8 and 9. The FIS Nordic Ski World Championships are coming up in Oslo, Norway, with the opening Nordic combined event Feb. 26.

FIS Nordic Combined World Cup results

Ramsau, Austria

Sunday, Dec. 19

Individual Normal Hill/10K Gundersen

1 — Mario Stecher, Austria (1/20) 24:22.3

2 — Tino Edelmann, Germany (20/8) +8.6 seconds

3 — Eric Frenzel, Germany (7/14) +10.2

4 — Jason Lamy Chappuis, France (8/16) +12.4

5 — Johannes Rydzek, Germany (5/21) +17.3

8 — Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (13/15) +19.0

18 — Todd Lodwick, Steamboat Springs, CO (10/33) +46.0

37 — Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs, CO (58/6) +1:47.5 minutes

45 — Nick Hendrickson, Park City, UT (59/22) +2:32.8

59 — Eric Camerota, Park City, UT (44/59) +5:17.0

Source: U.S. Ski Team

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