January 28, 2010
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A strong cross-country ski race couldn’t lift Steamboat Springs brothers Bryan and Taylor Fletcher from their ninth-place jump qualifying position Sunday in Finland.
The women’s racing in Aspen will include American Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso in giant slalom and slalom races Nov. 24 and 25.
After landing eighth in the jump, Todd Lodwick made up a deficit of 1 minute and 7 seconds while skiing the fastest cross-country race.
It was a strong weekend for Steamboat Springs’ highest flying siblings. Taylor and Bryan Fletcher soared to strong finishes in a pair of Nordic combined World Cup events in Lillehammer, Norway.
World Championships continue Monday with team event
All five Americans placed in the top 30 Saturday during the opening event of the 2011 Nordic Combined World Championships in Oslo, Norway. Billy Demong clocked the fastest cross-country race, finishing seventh, one spot ahead of defending champion and Steamboat Springs skier Todd Lodwick. Fellow Steamboat skiers Johnny Spillane, Bryan Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher were 19th, 22nd and 26th.
Team starts competition Saturday in Norway
Several U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team members have been preoccupied with family and injuries this year. But as the 2011 World Championships are set to begin Saturday and continue through March 4, don’t tell the Americans they don’t have a chance.
Among family and friends, Steamboat Springs’ Taylor Fletcher skied his way onto the podium in third place at the final Utah Continental Cup competition Sunday on the Olympic trails at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Frenchman Geoffrey LaFarge came from nearly two minutes behind and crossed the line for the victory making up a 1:54 deficit.
Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong's strong cross-country ski propelled him to 32nd overall in a World Cup competition in Kussamo, Finland. Steamboat's Taylor Fletcher and Bryan Fletcher also competed in the World Cup A event.
The secret is out. The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team won’t sneak up on anyone this year. Fresh off banner performances at the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Olympics, the Nordic combined team opens its season Friday in Kuusamo, Finland, as one of the top teams in the world.
In a surprise move, the U.S. Olympic Ski Jumping Team, which only had three of the four members needed to make a team, grabbed Nordic combined skier Taylor Fletcher for Monday’s Special Jumping Team Event at Whistler Olympic Park in British Columbia.
Taylor Fletcher, who was recently named to the U.S. Olympic team, led the way for the U.S. at Junior Worlds today. At the X Games in Aspen, Steamboat snowboarder Mick Dierdorff qualified today for Saturday's finals.
Michael Ward, who moved to Steamboat Springs from Aspen last winter to train with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, led the American team Wednesday at the FIS Junior World Championships in Hinterzarten, Germany.