BOBSLED: Holcomb Top U.S. Sled in Day One of Men's Two-Man Bobsled World Championships
ALTENBERG, Germany-Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) finished the first day of men's two-man bobsled World Championships in Altenberg, Germany in 13th position. World Cup Champion Andre Lange led a German sweep of the top three places after the first two heats on their home track."Altenberg is probably the most difficult track on the circuit, so if you don't get a lot of time on it, it's hard to go fast,"Holcomb said"It will be hard for anyone to take the title from the Germans this weekend."Team USA I pushed identical start times of 5.46 seconds for runs of 56.27 and 56.54, placing them in 13th after the first day of competition with a two-run total of 1:52.81."I just don't know what's wrong, why we're going so slow,"Holcomb said."I'm healthy and everything feels good. We're just not going fast."Holcomb, who finished the World Cup season ranked third overall, struggled with the difficult 17-curve course today. Sliding to the finish in the second heat, Holcomb shrugged his shoulders before waving to the cameras, and then stood beside the television screen to watch the following sleds descend the course."I don't know what happened,"Holcomb said with disbelief."Anything can happen on this track, so I hope we can go faster tomorrow."Overall World Cup Champion Lange continued his domination of the 2007-2008 season, leading a German sweep of the top three after the first day of men's two-man bobsled World Championships by 0.72 seconds. Teamed with Kevin Kuske, the reigning Olympic Champion burst off the block with a start time of 5.26 seconds in the first heat for a finish time of 55.17 seconds. Already 0.44 seconds ahead, Lange extended his lead further in the second heat with a run of 55.41 for a first day total time of 1:50.58. Germans Thomas Florschuetz and Mirko Paetzold are currently in second with a time of 1:51.30 after runs of 55.63 and 55.67, while teammates Matthias Hoepfner and Alexander Mann are in third after sliding times of 55.61 and 55.79 for a two-run total of 1:51.40. Junior athlete John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) made his World Championship debut today with first-year brakeman Chuck Berkeley (Clayton, Calif.), pushing start times of 5.49 and 5.43. Napier and Berkeley will enter tomorrow's final heats in 19th position with a total time of 1:53.76 (57.17, 56.59). Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) teamed with first-year push athlete Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) as USA II to finish the first day of two-man World Championships in 20th with a two-run total of 1:53.77. The duo pushed times of 5.43 and 5.51 for runs of 56.74 and 57.03, respectively. For complete results of today's race, visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). The men's two-man bobsled World Championship title will be decided in the final two heats tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 17. Check out the action LIVE and On-Demand on NBCOlympics.com, starting at 5 am EST. Results: 1. Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske (GER I) 1:50.58 (55.17, 55.41); 2. Thomas Florschuetz and Mirko Paetzold (GER II) 1:51.30 (55.63, 55.67); 3.Matthias Hoepfner and Alexander Mann (GER III) 1:51.40 (55.61, 55.79);_13. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA I) 1:52.81 (56.27, 56.54); _19. John Napier and Chuck Berkeley (USA III) 1:53.76 (57.17, 56.59);_20. Mike Kohn and Steve Langton (USA II) 1:53.77 (56.74, 57.03); 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: Allianz Life, Columbia Sportswear Company, Speedo, CW-X, KBC Helmets, ULU Boots, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Lumber Liquidators and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.