Bryan Fletcher jumps into second place at the midway mark of an FIS World Cup race in Chaux Neuve, France, on Friday. (Getty Images/AFP-Jeff Pachoud)
CHAUX-NEUVE, France (Jan. 13) – Billy Demong (Vermontville, NY) landed his season's best individual result Friday, finishing eighth after jumping to 20th in Chaux-Neuve. Teammate Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) was 14th after posting the top jump for the U.S., grabbing second place at the midway mark and battling the first two laps with France's Jason Lamy-Chappuis for the lead. Ultimately, it was Italy's Alessandro Pittin who captured his first World Cup win.
Season-best result for Billy Demong, moving up to eighth from 20th
Best jump for Bryan Fletcher in second
Fletcher battled for the lead during first two laps
Johnny Spillane (Steamboat Springs, CO) finished 13th after landing 28th in the jump and having the sixth-fastest cross country race time
Season's closest cross country start times, making for a very tight race
Competition was a reschedule from canceled races in Zakopane, Poland
Weekend continues with two more individual Gundersen World Cups on Saturday and Sunday
QUOTES Chris Gilbertson, Nordic Combined Jumping Coach/Assistant World Cup Coach We are super psyched for Bryan. He was in the leader box the whole comp until the last jump. I was very happy that Bryan jumped as well as he did. He did exactly what we've been talking about in training and he executed it perfectly today. Things fell into place today- I was happy with how everyone jumped.
Racing from the front is different than racing from the back. It takes time and experience to know how to race tactically when you're in the lead. It's something that Billy and Johnny had to learn and now Bryan has to learn it, too. It's how to manage yourself.
Billy had a strong race. He moved up the entire time. I think that if he caught that lead group a little sooner he would have had a better chance to move up but he caught them just at the very end and everyone took off.
The guys are having a good feeling on this hill. We like jumping in Chaux-Neuve and we've had good success here. We're looking forward to the next World Cup tomorrow.