SKELETON: Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup Competition Continues in Cesana, Italy
CESANA, Italy-Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup action continues this week on the 2006 Olympic track in Cesana, Italy. This weekend's events will consist of eight races instead of the usual five. The two-man event that was canceled due to inclement weather in Cortina, Italy last week has been rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 18 in Cesana. Skeleton was originally scheduled to compete in Cortina, but the track was not homologated in time for the competition. In order to fill the skeleton World Cup schedule with eight races, men's and women's skeleton will compete twice in Cesana. The schedule is as follows, with times listed in EST: Thursday, Jan. 17: - Men's skeleton 3 am - Women's skeleton at 7 am Friday, Jan. 18 - Men's skeleton at 3 am - Women's skeleton at 7 am - Two-man bobsled Cortina make-up race at 10:30 am Saturday, Jan. 19: - Women's bobsled at 3 am - Two-man bobsled at 10:30 am Sunday, Jan. 20: - Four-man bobsled at 3 am Competing for the U.S. in men's skeleton will be current World Cup leader Eric Bernotas (Avondale, Pa.) and defending World Cup Champion Zach Lund (Salt Lake City, Utah). Lund will look to repeat his gold medal performance from Cesana last season. Caleb Smith (Lake Placid, N.Y.) will again join the team for the second half of the tour after solidifying his position by winning the U.S. National Championship title over the holiday break. In women's skeleton, Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) will look to add to her gold and silver medal performances this season as she defends her 2007 World Cup title. Uhlaender is currently ranked second in overall standings, 57 points behind Canada's Michelle Kelly. Courtney Yamada (Boise, Idaho) and Annie O'Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.) are tied for tenth overall, and will be in the mix for the top six in Cesana. O'Shea, 2007 America's Cup Champion, is a rookie on the World Cup circuit, and will confront the 19-curve track for the first time. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) currently leads in two-man bobsled points, and is only five points away from leading in four-man standings. Holcomb won double gold in Cesana last season, and will look to take advantage of the three races this weekend to win triple gold. Joining Holcomb will be World Cup veteran Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and junior driver John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.). Napier, 21, made a statement in Park City, Utah and Lake Placid, N.Y. by placing eighth in both four-man events. In women's bobsled, Shauna Rohbock (Orem, Utah) will prove to be a threat for the podium on the track on which she claimed 2006 Olympic silver. Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) and World Cup rookie drive Jamia Jackson (Lake City, Fla.) will join Rohbock on their quest for the medals. Log onto www.NBCOlympics.com, presented by MediaZone, to watch the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Team in action LIVE and On-Demand. 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, ULU Boots, CW-X, KBC Helmets, Racing Electronics, Schenker Logistics, Speedo and Whelen Engineering. For more information, please visit the USBSF Web site at www.usbsf.com.