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USA’s Fletcher Scores Another Top 20 on Day 2 in Finland

release by USA Nordic

November 26, 2017 (Ruka, Finland) – Bryan Fletcher had another strong day of competition as he recorded his second top 20 World Cup result of the season in Ruka. On day two of three competition days in a row, Fletcher showed maturity and consistency.

Conditions were warmer and calmer on the jump hill in Ruka this morning. Fletcher had a solid jump of 123.5 meters that placed him in 31st position to begin the race.

“It was a different day of jumping today, more normal,” said Fletcher noting that he is satisfied for now but continues to work on small changes on the hill. Head Nordic Combined Coach Martin Bayer echoed Fletcher saying “Bryan is improving; getting more consistent every jump.”

While happy with his jumping, Fletcher was more excited to talk about his cross country race.
Fletcher began the race in 31st place, but found himself surrounded by more than a few familiar names, including Kircheisen and Moan. Fletcher knew the day had potential, but he had to ski smart.

“My strategy was to just go out and make sure I didn’t do the bulk of the work,” said Fletcher. The strategy worked and Fletcher finished in 18th, with the fourth fastest race time.

Early on Fletcher made sure not to waste time. He didn’t want to be the workhorse, but he wasn’t going to wait around either. He moved up to the mid 20’s and, when groups began to form, he maintained his composure. He spent most of the race in the same group, but, when the final laps came, Fletcher was able to bake a clean break and even picked off a few skiers from the group ahead of him. Good tactics and good execution.

Though Fletcher has consistently improved his racing over the past few years, and a top five time is not uncommon, todays result had more to do with tactics, giving Fletcher a little more satisfaction.

“Today I was really happy that I put together a race where I was skiing with the right group and I was able to plan a good sprint and successfully got away” he said.

“Bryan had a good strategy with his race today,” added Bayer, “really smart today.”

Tomorrow there will be one more day full of action in Ruka. The Nordic Combined skiers will have one more day of jumping and racing. Ben Berend, Taylor Fletcher, and Bryan will all be jumping in the qualification round first thing in the morning to try to qualify in the top 50. Though tough conditions have made the early season adjustments a bit of a challenge, Bayer has been impressed by the adjustments he has seen and is confident that all three Nordic Combined athletes can be competitive.

In addition to the Nordic Combined event, Ruka will be hosting a Ski Jumping World Cup as well. Will Rhoads and Michael Glasder, both USA Nordic National Team members, will be competing after they qualified 26th and 35th, respectively, on Friday, as will Canadian National Team member Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes who qualified 33rd.

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