Canada's Bobsleigh Athletes Get Wake Up Call at Winterberg World CupHaving spent the entire pre-season training on fast and highly-technical tracks, including the new Whistler Sliding Centre and Lake Placid, the two Canadian four-man sleds struggled with the slower and easier venue in Winterberg, Germany.
Edmonton’s Pierre Lueders drove the Canada 1 sled into 11th spot after clocking a two-run time of one minute 55.26 seconds, while Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., and his four-man crew finished 22nd after sliding short of qualifying for the second run.
“This is Winterberg and we are not going to take to much out of this other than it was a good wake-up call for the guys,” stated head coach Tuffy Latour following the race. “This was a bit of a different touch for these guys, but we’ll be back on track next week in Altenberg.”
A slow track that really doesn’t pick up until the ninth corner, the 38-year-old Lueders’ team, which included Ken Ken Kotyk, of Rama, Sask., Dan Humphries, of Calgary, and Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., started slow off the start and finish in their first run, but picked up a significant amount of time in both areas on their final heat.
Rush’s crew, who were forced to settle with a time of 55.56 seconds in the opening heat, included Calgary’s Chris Lebihan and Lascelles Brown, and World Cup rookie, Adam Rosenke, of Edmonton.
“We were maybe a little bit relaxed in the first heat, but this is just another World Cup,” said Latour, who added the easier conditions tightened the field. “We are working to get better and faster, and progressing towards the World Championships and Olympics in 2010.”
With less than one full second separating the top-13 sleds, it was Germany’s Andre Lang who came out on top of the pack after setting both a start (5.01) and track record (54.54). Lange and his crew in the Germany 1 sled, which included Alexander Roediger, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze, posted a combined time of 1:49.30.
The Russia 1 sled piloted by Alexsandr Zubkov finished in the silver-medal position with a time of 1:49.63. Zubkov’s crew included Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Truenkov and Dmitry Stephushkin.
The USA 1 crew of Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curt Tomasevicz rounded out the men’s four-man podium in third after clocking-in at 1:49.82.
The Canadian Bobsleigh and Skeleton Team now heads to Altenberg, Germany to compete in the second World Cup competition of the season, December 6-7.
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Top-Five Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh Results: complete results www.fibt.com
1. Lange/Roediger/Kruske/Putze, GER 1, 1:49.30; 2. Zubkov/Oreshnikov/Truenkov/Stepushkin, RUS 1, 1:49.63; 3. Holcomb/Olsen/Mesler/Tomasevicz, USA 1, 1:49.82; T4. Hoepfner/Friedrich/Dannhauer/Man, GER 3, 1:49.89; T4. Van Calker/Van Calker/ Jansma/Kla, NED 1, 1:49.89.
11. Lueders, Edmonton/Kotyk, Rama, Sask./Humphries, Calgary/Kripps, Summerland, B.C., CAN 1, 1:50.26; 22. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Brown, Calgary/LeBihan, Calgary/Rosenke, Edmonton, 55.26
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