Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
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Windy Winterberg holds back U.S. team
WINTERBERG, Germany (Dec. 17, 2011)-Winterberg weather continues to muddle World Cup results, and the two-man bobsled race was no exception this afternoon. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) teamed with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) for what was expected to be another podium finish, but the USA-1 crew was challenged by a forceful headwind mixed with snow and could only assemble a 13th place result.
“It’s a good thing we’re not in Vegas this week, because luck hasn’t been on our side,” said Brian Shimer, men’s bobsled head coach. “Holcomb was the fastest during training all week, so it makes the result that much harder to swallow. Hopefully tomorrow Mother Nature lightens up so that we can show everyone we belong on the podium.”
Holcomb and Tomasevicz were in the mix after the first run, but the crew was no contest for the wind and fell 0.18 seconds behind their first start time in the final heat. Holcomb threaded together a smooth run, but the gusty battle at the start was enough to drop the team into 13th with a combined time of 1:54.10.
“Holcomb got the raw deal in the second heat, but that’s the way the snowball bounces around here,” Shimer said. “Of course we’re upset. It’s tough to bust your butt off all season and then have a bad result because of something you can’t control. It’s luck of the draw sometimes, so we need to roll with the punches and move on.”
USA-1 pusher Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) paired with John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) in an effort to help dig the Alamo sled off the start. Olsen has already proved himself as one of the most powerful pushers on circuit, but even he was strapped back by the strong headwind at the start.
“I was honored to race with Justin today and I am very thankful to Steven Holcomb for the opportunity he gave me to race with one of his team members,” Napier said. “Unfortunately, we were plagued with luck of the draw and inconsistent weather conditions.”
The pair could only muster a start of 5.42 seconds and were in 20th position after the first run. Napier and Olsen were met with better conditions in the second run and bettered their start by 0.11 seconds, which helped the crew move up six positions into 14th with a combined time of 1:54.16.
Germans Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske were victorious by 0.24 seconds with a combined time of 1:52.98. U.S. women’s bobsled pilot Bree Schaaf commentated the men’s race and exclaimed that Florschuetz and Kuske managed to “out-weather Winterberg” by bulldozing off the start and effortlessly coasting to the finish for gold.
Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter from Switzerland claimed silver with a two-run total of 1:53.22. Latvians Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens dug themselves from the bottom 10 into bronze medal position after clocking a combined time of 1:53.43.
Even last year’s World Cup leader Manuel Machata was unable to make a deal with the weather on his home track. The wind and snow resisted Machata’s attempt at gold, and refused him a second run after he slid to the finish in 23rd position.
The Winterberg World Cup wraps up tomorrow morning with the four-man bobsled race. Be sure to cheer on your team by watching a live feed of the race at www.FIBT.com. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske (GER) 1:52.98 (56.81, 56.17); 2. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 1:53.22 (57.06, 56.16); 3. Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens (LAT) 1:53.43 (57.34, 56.09);…13. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA) 1:54.10 (57.17, 56.93); 14. John Napier and Justin Olsen (USA) 1:54.16 (57.68, 56.48);
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: BMW of North America, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.