Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
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USA-1 disappointed by ninth place finish in Altenberg
ALTENBERG, Germany (Jan. 8, 2012)– Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and his powerhouse crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) were no match against a snowstorm in the Altenberg four-man bobsled World Cup race this morning.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said Brian Shimer, men’s head coach. “It seems like we can’t catch a break from the weather recently. We just have to take what we have, even if it’s hard to swallow sometimes.”
Normally one of the fastest teams off the block, USA-1 could only muster start times of 5.26 and 5.22 seconds today. Despite two immaculate runs in the BMW sled, Holcomb’s two-run total of 1:51.55 was only good enough for ninth place. After three top-six finishes this season, including a silver medal performance, Holcomb was seeking better results than ninth to start the New Year of four-man racing.
“When you’re in the hunt for the medals each week and it becomes elusive, even if it’s because of something out of your control, you start second guessing everything,” Shimer said. “We have to try not to overanalyze and move on. Everybody has the same chance of the weather impacting performance, and it’s the rollercoaster that life is. We won’t let this bump in the road get us off track.”
German Maximilian Arndt proved his two-man silver medal performance wasn’t a fluke after winning today’s four-man competition. Arndt and his teammates Marko Huebenbecker, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putze were victorious by 0.66 seconds with a combined time of 1:49.87 to claim their first World Cup gold medal and the European Championship title.
Russian Alexander Zubkov teamed with Phillipp Egorov, Dmitry Trunenkov and Nikolay Hrenkov for silver with a two-run total of 1:50.53. Thomas Florschuetz, Ronny Listner, Kevin Kuske and Thomas Blascchek from Germany clocked a combined time of 1:50.79 for third.
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) teamed with Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill.), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) in the USA-2 National Guard sled for 16th position. The crew was hindered by wind and snowfall in the first heat, but caught a break in the final run to improve their start by .11 seconds for a nearly half a second improvement in their downtime. Despite the improvement, USA-2’s two-run combined time of 1:52.79 wasn’t enough to climb out of 16th.
“When it seems like the weather always impacts you, it starts to wear on you a little bit,” Shimer said. “There’s not much you can do but go out there and give your best each time. It’s definitely disheartening, but we need to keep the big picture in mind. World Championships are on our home track in Lake Placid this year, and things always seems to go more in your favor when you’re on home turf.”
There are still two European races remaining before the team heads back to North America. World Cup competition resumes in Germany next week, this time on the tricky Koenigssee course in the Berchtesgaden Alps.
Universal Sports will broadcast the Altenberg events with commentary and interviews on one-week delay. Programs will air Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 6 pm EST.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Arndt, Huebenbecker, Roediger and Putze (GER) 1:49.87 (54.73, 55.14); 2. Zubkov, Egorov, Trunenkov and Krenkov (RUS) 1:50.53 (55.16, 55.37); 3. Florschuetz, Listner, Kuske and Blaschek (GER) 1:50.79 (55.17, 55.62);…9. Holcomb, Olsen, Langton and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:51.55 (55.78, 55.77);…16. Napier, Beckom, Quinn and Fogt (USA) 1:52.79 (56.59, 56.20);
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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.