STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 14, 2018) – Hometown hero Taylor Fletcher (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Tara Geraghty-Moats (W. Fairlee, Vt.) swept to wins in the opening round of the International Ski Federation’s Continental Cup tour in Steamboat Springs Friday. A record nine nations took part in the first women’s Continental Cup in North America.
It was the second straight major international victory for Geraghty-Moats, who won a Summer Grand Prix last August in Germany to emerge as one of the fledgling sport’s early stars. Women’s nordic combined is on a hopeful pathway to the Olympics, with a Continental Cup tour that began a year ago and presents at the World Championships beginning in 2021.
Geraghty-Moats was third in the morning jumping round on the HS75 meter jump at Steamboat’s Howelsen Hill behind leader Veronica Gianmoena of Italy, starting the 5k cross country seven seconds back. She quickly took the lead and built a 47 second margin over second place Gyda Westvold Hansen of Norway. Stefaniya Nadymova of Russia was third.
In the men’s event, Japan’s Ryota Yamamoto took the lead on the jump, soaring 74.5 meters for the long ride of the day. His teammate Hidefumi Denda was second. Fletcher came from behind in the 10k cross country, starting in 11th a minute, three seconds back
Fletcher blasted through the field, moving up quickly and pulling along a pair of Austrians, Paul Gerstgraser and Bernhard Flaschberger, taking a 15.3 second victory.
It was the first of four Continental Cups in the USA. Action resumes Saturday at Steamboat Springs with a second event before the tour moves to Park City, Utah for a pair of competitions next Wednesday and Thursday.
FIS NORDIC COMBINED CONTINENTAL CUP
Steamboat Springs, Colo. USA
Friday, December 14, 2018