Team USA Euro-bound after busy 4th of July week
Team USA is Europe-bound again for some jumping training in Hinterzarten and Courchevel and also - like the French team around World Champion Jason Lamy Chappuis already did this past weekend - for some participation on Tour de France stages during stages 18 and 19.
For the week around Independence Day on July 4th, the team met up for some competitions in Steamboat Springs where U.S. team members Billy Demong, Todd Lodwick, Bryan and Taylor Fletcher and other were also joined by the B team and the Canadian athletes for a number of different activities.
A time trial at Fish Creek opened 4th of July week with a victory for Adam Loomis who was very happy with his current state of fitness: "Now, a July 1st, time trial is of little consequence, but I'm still pretty excited to be able to show that kind of fitness. And, being teammates with Bill Demong, Todd Lodwick, Taylor Fletcher and Bryan Fletcher, it's usually not that often that I'm leading the crew." Later that day, the Ski Team athletes put on a roller-skiing technique session for their younger teammates.
Next up was the Calcutta jumping event on Tuesday. People who attended a wine soirée placed money on specific athletes and if their athlete or athletes did well they can win a prize. 12-year-old Decker Dean ended up winning.
Wednesday, the 3rd of July saw a jumping competition which laid the foundation for the big event on Independence Day: a 3 km roller-skiing sprint through the centre of Steamboat Springs, giving the athletes the unique opportunity to showcase their sport in front of a large audience on this public holiday. Veteran Todd Lodwick won ahead of teammates Bill Demong and Taylor Fletcher. “It’s great to be in a town like Steamboat to showcase our sport on America’s greatest day of the year,” Lodwick said. “We get to celebrate this sport in this type of setting and that’s really cool,” Lodwick said in local newspaper "Steamboat Today".
The day was finished by a long-standing competition on the jumping hills on Friday where athletes with the least long jumps were eliminated immediately. Ben Loomis finally won the competition ahead of Decker Dean who shone with long jumps all week long: “It feels good. I trained well,” said Dean, who is heading into seventh grade. “I’m really light compared to all the other guys I was with, so that helped a lot.”