SCHONACH, Germany (Jan. 5) – The U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team charged onto the World Cup podium Saturday, finishing third.
It was an historic first World Cup team event podium for the U.S. Ski Team, which won a silver medal at the Vacouver Games. It was the first ever USA World Cup podium in a Nordic Combined team event.
The USA started the cross country leg in sixth, 57 seconds behind Norway, which ultimately won. Taylor Fletcher (second leg) and Demong (anchor) each won their respective relay legs.
“Today was a one of those days where you don’t have too many expectations but as a team we knew we could break up the podium if we focused on the process and all did what we could,” said Demong, who gave his team a good launching pad thanks to a strong 94.5 meter jump. “It was super exciting and tactical as we moved through the field. It was never clear that we would podium until it was over but each guy picked up time and places and did the job necessary. It is an historic first relay podium for the U.S. in a World Cup and a great way to get a first podium for the year.”
The USA slowly moved up through the pack with Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong pacing to pass Austria to take third.
“It feels very good to get this result. Our team had the proper expectations going into the event and were ready to compete,” said Taylor Fletcher. “We all had good jumps on the hill and Billy showed he can jump amazing whenever he wants. Everyone has very strong leg in the cross country with Bryan holding the time to the skiers in front, Todd moving up and giving Billy a good shot at the podium. For myself I have been in good shape all year with it getting better after each race. I had to thank my skis as the techs killed the wax and I was able to glide very well and push the pace to catch Japan and France.”
Action resumes Sunday in Schonach with an individual event.
Image by Gepa
|LAMY CHAPPUIS Jason|