BOBSLED: Holcomb Continues to Battle Injury, Finishing 11th in Cesana Four-Man Bobsled Competition
CESANA, Italy-Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) continued to fight a groin injury in the four-man bobsled World Cup competition in Cesana, Italy, finishing 11th today. Holcomb swept the event on the 2006 Olympic track last season, winning both the two and four-man competitions, but has struggled this year after suffering an injury while warming up on Friday."I thought I drove really well,"Holcomb said."But it's a general rule to multiply how far you're behind at the start by three to figure out how much time you lost by the time you cross the finish line. So if you're one-tenth of a second off in the push, you're three-tenths of a second off at the finish."Holcomb relied on his four-man push crew, one of the fastest in the world, of Pavle Jovanovic (Tom's River, N.J.), Steve Mesler (Calgary, Alberta) and Brock Kreitzburg (Akron, Ohio) to get USA I off the block. The team pushed an identical 4.84 in the two-heat competition, nearly one-tenth of a second slower than the top teams in today's race."I just tried to keep up with the sled on the push,"Holcomb said."Again, the guys did a great job at the start."Driving his Bo-Dyn sled down the 19-curve track, Holcomb finished with a combined time of 1:51.13 after runs of 55.33 and 55.80, eighth and 13th fastest of the competition, respectively. Holcomb remains second in two-man points, and is currently fourth in four-man standings."I don't think I lost too much ground today in overall standings,"Holcomb said."Hopefully next week will be better."Latvia's Janis Minins won his first World Cup competition today, surprising the field with the fastest run of the competition, a 55.23, just 0.01 seconds from the track record. Combined with his first run time of 54.83, Janis and team of Daumants Dreiskens, Oskars Melbardis and Intars Dambis claimed their first victory together with a total of 1:50.06. Martin Galliker from Switzerland was the first sled off the block in the competition. Galliker and team of Juerg Egger, Olexander Streltsov and Patrick Bloechliger took advantage of the fast, cold ice, sliding runs of 54.81, fastest of the first heat, and 55.42 for a combined time of 1:50.23. Team SUI II finished 0.17 seconds behind the Latvians for the silver. Reigning Olympic Champion Andre Lange took bronze today. The German pilot had the fastest push times of the day, a 4.75 and 4.74, with teammates Rene Hoppe, Kevin Kuske and Martin Putze. Lange slid runs of 54.93 and 55.33 for a two-run total of 1:50.37. Mike Kohn (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) teamed with Jamie Moriarty (Winnetka, Ill.), TJ Burns (Blue Bell, Pa.) and Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) as USA II in today's race. The team pushed start times of 4.88 and 4.89. Kohn piloted his Bo-Dyn sled into 20th today with a total time of 1:51.85 after runs of 55.91 and 55.95. The teams will now depart for the sixth World Cup event of the 2007-08 season in St. Moritz, Switzerland from Jan. 21-27. For complete results of the race, please visit www.bobsleigh.com, the Web site of the Federation International de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganning (FIBT). Results: 1. Minins, Dreiskens, Melbardis and Dambis (LAT I) 1:50.06 (54.83, 55.23); 2. Galliker, Egger, Streltsov and Bloechliger (SUI II) 1:50.23 (54.81, 55.42); 3. Lange, Hoppe, Kuske and Putze (GER I) 1:50.37 (54.93, 55.44);_11. Holcomb, Jovanovic, Mesler and Kreitzburg (USA I) 1:51.11 (55.36, 55.75);_20. Kohn, Moriarty, Burns and Langton (USA II) 1:51.85 (55.91, 55.95); 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.