Bryan Fletcher nearly gets on podium at World Championships
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that U.S. Nordic combined athlete Bryan Fletcher didn’t get on the World Championships podium. The top-three finishers reach the podium
Bryan Fletcher may have just missed a top-three World Championship performance in Falun, Sweden, but he’ll take his fifth-place finish Thursday in the Nordic combined large-hill competition.
It was the American’s best performance on this stage yet.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club product sat in 13th place after the jumping portion on the HS-134. He used the pack’s eighth-best, 10-kilometer cross country skiing time of 22:24.2 to grab the top-five finish with just one World Championship event remaining Saturday.
Austria’s Bernhard Gruber held off France’s Francois Braud for first place. Germany’s Johannes Rydzek was third, and Norway’s Magnus Moan took fourth.
On Feb. 20 in the World Championships’ only other individual competition, Fletcher finished 21st in the normal hill 10K Gundersen, two places behind his brother, Taylor, who was 19th.
On Thursday, Taylor Fletcher was the Americans’ next man up but he was done in by a 34th-ranked jump. He had the day’s 10th-best cross country time (22:36.6) but slipped to 29th place overall. Bill Demong wasn’t far behind, crossing in 33rd place. Adam Loomis finished 41st.
Nordic combined 2014 Winter Olympics gold medalist Eric Frenzel, of Germany, finished 10th overall.
The Nordic combined part of the World Championships will wrap up on Saturday for the second team competition, the large hill (HS-134) team sprint. The American squad took seventh place in last Sunday’s team relay.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Things are normally pretty quiet around the base area of Steamboat Resort this time of year, but a lot has happened since the ski area closed following the 2020-21 season.