MONTAFON, Austria (Sept. 2, 2015) - The day dawned with blue skies in the Montafon valley of western Austria on Wednesday, but eventually mother nature took it’s toll with a crazy day in the FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix. Austria’s Mario Seidl claimed the the victory at the new venue of Tschagguns and Partenen in Austria’s Montafon valley. He crossed the finish line 14 seconds before Japan’s Akito Watabe. Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the USA in 24th with brother Taylor in 28th.
The jumping round started in sunny weather but the wind picked up and increased more and more until the jury had to make the decision to cancel the competition round.
“It was really a strange day,” said U.S. Ski Team Coach Dave Jarrett. “Both Michael (Ward) and Adam (Loomis) and great jumps in the comp round but the wind and rain came after bib 31 and they had to cancel.”
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand (September 1, 2015)—After the dual slalom kicked off the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, the Games wrapped with a slalom and a giant slalom at Coronet Peak near Queenstown. Brennan Rubie (Salt Lake City, UT) grabbed the sole American podium, taking third in the GS.
OBERWIESENTHAL, Germany (Aug. 30, 2015) - Olympian Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) set a torrid pace with the second fastest roller ski time to finish 12th in a FIS Nordic Combined Summer Grand Prix Sunday in Oberwiesenthal, along the Czech border. Eric Frenzel led a German sweep of the podium.
In the morning jump on the HS106 meter hill, Bryan Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, CO) led the USA with a 92.0 meter ride for 27th. Frenzel set the pace with a huge 105.0 meter jump. Bryan Fletcher started 1:57 back from Frenzel, with brother Taylor one second behind.
The brothers Fletcher slowly overtook skier after skier to move towards the front. In the intense afternoon heat, Bryan Fletcher eventually dropped back to finish 19th while Taylor moved up to 12th.
WANAKA, New Zealand (Aug. 29, 2015)—Fighting fog and falls in the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ halfpipe, the Americans struggled in the halfpipe on Sunday, with Greg Bretz (Mammoth Lakes, CA) finishing as the top American, just off the podium in fourth. Japan’s Raibu Katayama and Cai Xuetong from China eventually took the men’s and women’s titles.
Katayama emerged from relative obscurity to steal gold from a world-class field battling it out at Cardrona Alpine Resort near Wanaka. It was only Katayama’s second medal on the international scene, although he is no stranger to the podium at home. Katayama’s teammate Taku Hiraoka was second, with reigning Olympic champion Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland taking the bronze medal.
WANAKA, New Zealand (Aug. 27, 2015)—During a windy Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) grabbed a podium at the slopestyle, nailing a bronze.
This was the first FIS World Cup slopestyle of the season, and a AFP Platinum-level event. James ‘Woodsy’ Woods of Great Britain was unstoppable, taking first with a smooth second run scoring him a 93.40. Oystein Braaten of Norway grabbed second place. Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, CO) was fifth and Noah Wallace (Spokane, WA) was seventh.
Joss Christensen (right) stands on the podium next to Woods and Braaten. (Getty Images - Hannah Peters)
The world’s top slopestyle skiers treated Cardrona Alpine Resort to a master class on Thursday, as they battled to qualify for the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup at Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015. Five Americans made the cut—Devin Logan (West Dover, VT), Keri Herman (Breckenridge, CO), Noah Wallace (Spokane, WA), Joss Christensen (Park City, UT) and Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, CO).