Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz Slide to Bronze at Bobsleigh World Cup in Winterberg
—Team Kripps and Team Spring finish 10th and 11th in men’s two-man—
WINTERBERG, Ger.—Kaillie Humphries overcame one of her biggest challenges on the Bobsleigh World Cup to drive to a bronze medal with Melissa Lotholz in Winterberg, Germany on Saturday.
One of her least favourite tracks in the world where she finished seventh at last year’s World Championships, the 30-year-old Humphries dug deep while leveraging solid pushes with fellow Lotholz, of Barrhead, Alta., to clock a third-place time of 1:54.09.
“Winterberg isn’t really a hard track, but it is hard for me. It’s my biggest nemesis on tour so to walk away on the podium is a great result and I’m happy,” said Humphries whose only other podium finish in Winterberg came in 2012 when she won gold.
“I don’t know what it is about Winterberg. “Being in a new sled, I was able to feel the corners differently than I have in the past, but honestly, every pilot is going to have some tracks you struggle at and some you love. This one has proved to be more challenging for my driving style. I’ll never give up or let it defeat me though.”
It was the 32nd World Cup podium finish for Humphries and fifth of Lotholz’s young career. Calgary’s Humphries has also slid to two Olympic and World Championship titles.
“There was one spot on the track that was chucking the guys all over the place so I just played it safe. Our second push was a lot better, and closer to where we need to be.”
While the Canadians put down the second fastest start time, it was the Americans who grabbed the top-two spots on the podium. Jamie Greubel Poser and Cherrelle Garrett finished on top with a time of 1:53.74. Elana Meyers Taylor and Kehri Jones settled for the silver with a time of 1:53.89
On the men’s side it was the two Canadian sleds finishing 10th and 11th. Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Alexander Kopacz, of London, Ont., placed 10th at 1:51:01 on the 14-corner track.
Two Calgarians – Chris Spring and Derek Plug – rebounded after a difficult opening weekend to grab the 11th spot with a time of 1:51.14.
“Derek and I executed just like we did last week, and thankfully the weather didn\'t impact our result today like it did in the snow last week,” said Spring. “I was having trouble in the labyrinth (corner 12 and 13) all week in training but the rest of the track I was driving well. I was hoping to fix my labyrinth today for the race, but unfortunately I couldn\'t and left a little bit of time on the track.
“I like driving here and have a good feel for the track. It suits my driving style as I\'m the kind of driver who doesn\'t like to drive very much and let the sled run.”
Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis slid into the winner’s circle with a time of 1:50.37. Latvia’s Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens celebrated the silver at 1:50.50, while Korea’s Yunjong Won and Youngwoo Seo continue to shock the world with their second career medal, claiming the bronze at 1:50.71.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in Winterberg with the men’s four-man races.
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Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s and Canadian Results:
1. Jamie Greubel Poser/Cherrelle Garrett, USA, 1:53.74; 2. Elana Meyers Taylor/Kehri Jones, USA, 1:53.89; 3. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Melissa Lotholz, Calgary, CAN, 1:54.09; 4. Anja Schneiderheinze/Erline Nolte, GER, 1:54.29; 5. Christina Hengster/Sanne Monique Dekker, AUT, 1:54.52
Top-Five Men’s and Canadian Skeleton Results:
1. Francesco Friedrich/Thorsten Margis, GER, 1:50.37; 2. Oskars Melbardis/Daumants Dreiskens, LAT, 1:50.50; 3. Yunjong Won/Youngwoo Seo, KOR, 1:50.71; 4. Nick Cunningham/Carlo Valdes, USA, 1:50.82; 5. Ugis Zalims/Intars Dambis, LAT, 1:50.83
10. Justin Kripps, Summerland, B.C./Alex Kopacz, London, Ont., 1:51.01; 11. Chris Spring, Calgary/Derek Plug, Calgary, 1:51.14