After a so-so weekend in Seefeld, Austria, last weekend, the team is moving on and looking ahead to Oslo. This weekend in Chaux Neuve, France, is the last chance to compete at the World Cup level before the World Championships in Oslo next month.
“I am excited to just compete and try to get some more points. After having two weekends of not my best races, I am just looking to improve upon the last two weekends,” said Bryan Fletcher, who has made a consistent splash into the top 30 this season.
Fletcher is encouraged by the improving conditions in Chaux Neuve, and notes that it could not get much worse.
“Conditions are looking better and better every day. When we showed up there was absolutely no snow,” Fletcher said in an email to FasterSkier.
“Today it has snowed off and on all day, and the temps have dropped down a bit so that is good they are able to make snow. So the competitions look like they are going to be good,” Fletcher added.
Aside from Bryan Fletcher, Johnny Spillane and Todd Lodwick, Billy Demong has joined the crew after staying home last weekend for the birth of his son Liam to round out the US team in Chaux Neuve. Taylor Fletcher, who raced the World Cup in Seefeld last weekend, has joined the COC crew in Harrachov, Czech Republic, to try earn some more points for the US nordic combined team.
While the US racers are looking to make their names known and feared in time for the Worlds in Oslo, hometown favorite and current World Cup leader Jason Lamy-Chappuis is excited about the competitions in friendly territory.
“There’s always a great atmosphere in Chaux-Neuve so I’m looking forward a lot to the competitions at home.”
The venue at Chaux Neuve is among the most modern on the World Cup circuit. The La Cote Feuilee-Hill officially opened on December 14th 2010 after the reconstruction a HS 118. Local hero Jason Lamy-Chappuis from Bois-d’Amont made the first jump, pulling off 115 meters, and enjoyed both the honor and the hill.
“It was an honor for me to make the first jump,” Lamy-Chappuis said to FIS Nordic Combined.
Chaux-Neuve is not only an indicator for the World Championships in Norway, but it’s also the last chance to score World Cup points before the season final in Lahti.
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.