It’s time to get back to business for the US Nordic Combined team. After a few weeks of training in Park City, the crew is aiming for new World Cup competitions this weekend in Schonach (GER).
“Training over Christmas was good and relaxing, which is always nice. Anyways, it feels good to be back on the road, and I’m excited to get back to racing. I obviously want to pick up right where I left off,” Bryan Fletcher said in an email to FasterSkier.
The US crew pretty much hit the ground running, as usual, after touchdown in Europe. A Tuesday arrival called for Wednesday intensity and Thursday recovery before the preliminary rounds start on Friday.
“We hammered out some intervals on Wednesday. Today is a rest day. People are feeling good and ready to go, but the course is a tough one,” Fletcher said, adding that the weather could turn things even more interesting by race day, unless it gets colder again.
“Conditions were good here until now, however they are supposed to get warm here over the next couple days. Today it might rain,” Fletcher said.
Wet is never good for skiers, and make things particularly challenging for jumping as well as suctiony on the cross-country course. But regardless, Fletcher is excited to get on with business.
“I am feeling ready. I am trusting that the work has been done and that I can restart right where I left off in the last comps,” Fletcher said.
For the World Cups in Schonach, the US Nordic Combined team is fielding four racers: Eric Camerota, Brett Denny, Taylor Fletcher and Bryan Fletcher, led by USST Coach Chris Gilbertson. Saturday features a standard individual race, while Sunday’s event is a team competition.
Head coach Dave Jarrett will join the group after the weekend with the rest of the US athletes. Based on the competitions this weekend, Jarrett will divide the group into two, where one crew will proceed to the next World Cup events in Seefeld (AUT) while the other group will defend the Stars & Stripes at the COC races in Klingenthal (GER).
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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.