Jason Lamy-Chappuis, the Frenchman who won an Olympic individual gold medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, jumped 113 meters, a whopping 7.5 meters longer than anyone else, and started with a minute and four second lead on Maxime Laheurte (FRA). With Norwegians Mikko Kokslien jumping to 8th place and Magnus Moan all the way down in 25th, Lamy-Chappuis maintained his position through the cross-country portion of the race. He finished in 25:33.2, while Magnus Moan, who started 1:53 behind Lamy-Chappuis, skied into second place, finishing in 26:02.5, while Kokslien was third, clocking in at 26:06.1.
“Jason destroyed the field,” United States Ski Team’s (USST) Bryan Fletcher said with awe.
“He jumped 1:04 ahead of second place. He was able to jump 113 meters. Pretty great performance by him. He also was able to stay off the front and won by almost 40 seconds so it was a good day for him,” Bryan Fletcher said.
As for his own race, Bryan Fletcher said the course was tricky and conditions were tough, and that the margins were just not on his side, despite a decent jump.
“Today was tough. The course was a combo of bullet proof ice and spring slush. With the technical down hills it was a sketchy scene,” said Bryan Fletcher, explaining that the tight field did not help his game.
“The race was very tightly packed. I did not have my best race by any means. I also fell twice, which doesn’t help. One was not my fault – someone stepped on my tip and pole and spun me around 180 degrees. In the middle of a pack, it was tough to get back on course. But I made it through that and worked my way back up to the pack only to fall again on the fourth lap on the big nasty corner,” Bryan Fletcher said, noting that he was content with his jumping.
“The jumping went alright for me, I was able to land myself in 14th position,” he said.
Taylor Fletcher was 34th overall after jumping to 47th place and starting 2:36 behind Lamy-Chappuis, and Johnny Spillane was 44th overall, after jumping to 54th place and starting in the wave of skiers who started 3 minutes behind Lamy-Chappuis.
“It was a pretty good day on the hill for Bryan, Todd, and Taylor as well. Johnny didn’t jump as well,” head coach Dave Jarrett said, noting that conditions for the cross-country were tricky.
“The course was hard and very icy. Todd and Bryan skied OK but not where we hoped they would finish. Taylor had a better race, and Johnny is still getting into race shape. It is clear we need to work on some cross-country stuff and that will be addressed going to Oslo,” Jarrett said.
He knows both Lodwick and Bryan Fletcher is capable of better races than 23rd and 28th, and that the real goal is the World Championships in Oslo in February.
“We have another competition tomorrow, so we will keep working,” said Jarrett.
Johnny Spillane feels like the potential is there, but knows he has to be patient. “Today was not too great for me, but you have to keep everything in perspective. I have not been able to train for almost eight months due to my knee injury and some time off after the Olympics, so for me it is nice to get in the mix,” Spillane said.
“Of course, I want to do better, but competing in a World Cup without much training is difficult. I’m in the process if trying to test new jumping skis and also compete, which is hard. But my main goal is Oslo, and I’m going to do everything I can to be prepared for Worlds,” Spillane said.
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Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.