CESANA, Italy–The Intercontinental Cup circuit continued today on the 2006 Olympic track in Cesana, Italy. The bobsled and skeleton World Cup competition was cancelled in December due to over 2.5 meters of snowfall and storms have continued to bury the small town of Sestriere.Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) and Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) were the top U.S. sleds in their respective fields, finishing 11th and 12th, respectively.
“It snowed more than six inches the first day of training,” said O’Shea. “There is so much snow, and it was coming down harder and harder today during the competition. The first run wasn’t too bad, because there was only snow at the start, but it crept into the track in the second run and along the short walls.”
O’Shea powered off the starting bock with a push time of 5.14 seconds for a first heat of 1:01.22. Pushing against the snow, O’Shea clocked a start time of 5.20 seconds for a second run of 1:01.75. The junior athlete slid to the finish with a combined time of two minutes, 2.97 seconds to finish 12th.
“This track is really tricky,” said O’Shea. “You don’t have a second to relax, and you have to be on your best game at every moment. I’m not disappointed with how I finished, because I learned a few things here and I’m more confident to come back and race tomorrow.”
Cesana will host a second Intercontinental Cup competition tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 24 before moving to Igls, Austria next week.
Finishing just 0.32 seconds behind her teammate, Keslie Tomlinson (Potomac Falls, Va.) finished 14th with a total time of 2:03.29. Tomlinson pushed start times of 5.33 and 5.42 for runs of 1:01.15 and 1:02.14, respectively.
Canada’s Amy Gough claimed her second consecutive Intercontinental Cup gold medal today with a combined time of 2:00.29 after sliding the fastest runs of the competition, 59.54 and 1:00.75.
Kathleen Lorenz from Germany claimed her third silver medal this season after sliding runs of 59.95 and 1:00.83 for a total time of 2:00.78. Canadian Carla Pavan was third with a two-run total of 2:00.91 after crossing the finish with runs of 59.82 and 1:01.09. Gough, Lorenz and Pavan were the only competitors to slide to the finish under 60 seconds today.
U.S. athlete Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) made her Intercontinental Cup debut today, sliding the difficult Olympic track for her first time this week. Gabryszak slid a first run time of 1:02.45, placing her 24th. International rules only grant the top 20 sleds a second run.
In the men’s field, Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) was the top U.S. finisher in 11th with a combined time of one minute, 58.51 seconds.
“This week has been great so far,” said Smith. “I've learned more about this track and sliding than I have in a while. Although my numerical result today wasn't as good as I wanted, there were multiple positives to be taken from it, including my start and good execution in certain sections of the track.”
Smith pushed start time of 4.99 and 5.04 seconds for runs of 59.11 and 59.40 seconds, respectively.
“Consistency has been elusive for me here in the past but hopefully I can get that tomorrow,” said Smith. “I feel like my momentum is moving in the right direction this week and I look forward to competing here again.”
Chris Type from Great Britain claimed gold with a total time of 1:56.10 after sliding the third and second fastest runs of the day, a 57.95 and 58.15.
British teammate Adam Pengilly slid a silver medal performance after crossing the finish with a combined time of 1:56.15 after sliding runs of 57.58 and 58.57. Pengilly had the lead after the first run, but was unable to hold on, finishing just a mere 0.05 seconds from the gold.
In third was Michi Halilovic from Germany with a two-run total of 1:56.55. Halilovic was seventh after the first heat after crossing the finish in 58.46 seconds, and moved up with the fastest time of the second run, a 58.09.
U.S. athlete Kyle Tress (Trenton, N.J.) was prepared to compete in the Cesana World Cup in December, which would have marked his second World Cup competition, and was disappointed when the jury was forced to cancel due to weather. Tress returned to the course today, blasting out two of the fastest push times of the day, a 4.77 and 5.00. Sliding to the finish in 59.92 and 1:01.18 for a combined time of 2:01.10, Tress finished 19th.
Stokes Aitken (Salt Lake City, Utah) pushed a start time of 4.87 seconds for a run of 1:00.03, finishing just outside of the top 20 in 21st position.
Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at www.fibt.com. For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, email@example.com.
1. Chris Type (GBR) 1:56.10 (57.95, 58.15); 2. Adam Pengilly (GBR) 1:56.15 (57.58, 58.57); 3. Michi Halilovic (GER) 1:56.55 (58.46, 58.09);…11. Caleb Smith (USA) 1:58.51 (59.11, 59.40);…19. Kyle Tress (USA) 2:01.10 (59.92, 1:01.18);…21. Stokes Aitken (USA) (1:00.03, DNS);
1. Amy Gough (CAN) 2:00.29 (59.54, 1:00.75); 2. Kathleen Lorenz (GER) 2:00.78 (59.95, 1:00.83); 3. Carla Pavan (CAN) 2:00.91 (59.82, 1:01.09);…12. Annie O’Shea (USA) 2:02.97 (1:01.22, 1:01.75);…14. Keslie Tomlinson (USA) 2:03.29 (1:01.15, 1:02.14);…24. Kimber Gabryszak (USA) (1:02.45, DNS);
About the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation
The United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. The USBSF would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: Allianz Life, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company, ULU Boots and Ferris Mfg. Corp. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project: Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electronics and Racing Electronics. For more information, please visit the USBSF website athttp://bobsled.teamusa.org.