Canadian Bobsleigh Athletes Struggle at Austrian World CupIGLS, Aut.—The Canadian men struggled to drive their way up the standings at a men’s four-man World Cup bobsleigh race in Igls, Austria on Sunday.
Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., drove the top Canadian sled to a 14th-place finish. Rush and his crew of Calgary’s Chris LeBihan, Rob Gray, of North Delta, B.C., and Lascelles Brown, of Calgary, clocked a two-run time of one minute 43.01.
Canada’s Pierre Lueders teamed up with Ken Kotyk, of Rama, Sask., David Bissett, of Edmonton, and Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., to finish 17th (1:43.28).
Russia’s Alexsandr Zubkov grabbed the gold medal on the Igls track. Zubkov and his crew of Roman Oreshnikov, Dmitry Trunekov and Dmitry Stepushkin posted a winning time of 1:42.34.
Steven Holcomb drove the United States sled to the silver-medal position on the podium. Holcomb’s crew of Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz pushed the USA 1 sled to a two-run time of 1:42.48.
The Russia 3 sled piloted by Dmitry Abramovitch was third at 1:42.54. Philipp Egorov, Andrey Jurkov and Petr Moiseev were on-board for the bronze-medal run.
The World Cup will continue next week at the 2006 Olympic venue in Cesana, Italy.
Canada also had a number of athletes who are trying to work their way onto the World Cup circuit competing around the world this week.
Calgary’s Amanda Stepenko teamed up with Veronique Fortin, of Gatineau, Que., to win the women’s Europa Cup bobsleigh race in Altenberg, Germany. Stepenko, who used to compete on the World Cup, posted a winning time of 1:59.34.
The Canadian men also competed in the two-man races at the Europa Cup. Adam Anderson, of Castlegar, B.C., and Calgary’s Rob Staniforth were the top Canadian sled finishing in 16th.
Back in North America, Canada’s skeleton athletes continued to push their way towards the podium in a couple of Intercontinental Cup races in Park City, Utah.
Carla Pavan, of Lethbridge, Alta., won a bronze medal in Park City in the second women’s race of the week. Pavan, who is working her way back to the World Cup level, also had a fourth-place finish in Park City.
Pavan was joined in the women’s races by Amy Gough, of Abbotsford, B.C., who had two sixth-place finishes, while Calgary’s Darla Deschamps, who won the season-opener on her home track last week, had an eighth and ninth-place finish.
On the men’s side, it was Keith Loach who threatened for a spot on the podium. The Calgary native, who has split time on the Intercontinental Cup and World Cup circuits over the last two seasons, had a fourth- and sixth-place result this week. Joining Loach in the top-10 was Toronto’s Mike Douglas who had a ninth and 10th-place results.
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Top-Five Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh Results:
1. Zubkov/Oreshnikov/Trunekov/Stepushkin, RUS 1, 1:42.34; 2. Holcomb/Olsen/Mesler/Tomasevicz, USA 1, 1:42.48; 3. Abramovitch/Egorov/Jurkov/Moiseev, RUS 3, 1:42.54; 4. Minins/Dreiskens/Melbardis/Dambis, 1:42.63; 5. Van Calker/Van Calker/Jansma/Klassen, NED 1, 1:42.66
14. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Brown, Calgary/LeBihan, Calgary/Gray, North Delta, B.C. 1:43.01; 17. Lueders, Edmonton/Kotyk, Rama, Sask./Bissett, Edmonton/Kripps, Summerland, B.C., 1:43.28
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