Holcomb Top U.S. Sled in Two-Man Bobsled Whistler World Cup

Feb. 07, 2009, 12:31 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2009

Holcomb Top U.S. Sled in Two-Man Bobsled Whistler World Cup

WHISTLER, Canada-Today was the first two-man bobsled World Cup competition to be hosted on the 2010 Olympic course at the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, Canada. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) was the highest U.S. sled in eighth, just sixteen-hundredths of a second from the medals in a highly contested race.

"It was a good race today," said Holcomb. "Tracks that are this fast bring the field close together, and it's incredible to see the how tight the competition was."

Holcomb teamed with Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) for a push time of 4.81 and a run of 52.01 seconds, placing the team in third, 0.03 seconds from the lead, after the first heat. The top 20 sleds were seperated by only five-tenths of a second going into the final run.

"I had a great first run," said Holcomb. "I don't really know what happened in the second run. I didn't have many mistakes, but I fell back quite a bit."

Holcomb and Tomasevicz slid a second run of 52.29, giving the U.S. pair a combined time of one minute, 44.30 seconds.

"The U.S. Olympic Committee really helped us this week," said Holcomb. "Even though I'm not happy about my result, I still learned a lot of useful information about the course thanks to the amount of cameras we had on the track. We need every ounce of help we can get, because the Canadian are going into the Olympics with hundreds of runs, while we'll only have had thirty. It will be hard to keep up with them, so the help we had this week was greatly needed."

Thomas Florschutz from Germany won his third gold medal this season with brakeman Marc Kuhne with a total time of 1:43.95. The German duo was one of the most consistent sleds down the hill, and slid the second fastest runs of both heats, a 51.99 and 51.96, for the victory.

Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter from Swizterland claimed their sixth medal this year, and asserted themselves as an Olympic favorite to medal in 2010 by setting the start and track records, pushing a 4.70 and sliding to the finish in 51.95 seconds in the final heat. The Swiss team claimed silver with a combined time of 1:44.03.

In third was hometown hero Pierre Lueders, who managed to snake his way safely through Lueders Loop, corner seven, which was named after the Canadian pilot when he crashed during team training earlier in the year. Lueders and push athlete David Bissett slid a two-run total of 1:44.14 after crossing the finish line in 51.98 and 52.16 seconds.

John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) had his best-ever two-man bobsled World Cup result today, finishing 11th with a total time of 1:44.72. Napier claimed the two-man U.S. National Championship title in Lake Placid, N.Y. last month to earn his position onto the team, and navigated the Olympic course today with brakeman Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.).

"We heard some horror stories about this track, but once we got here, it's just bobsledding," said Napier. "You pull right, you go right, you pull left, you go left. It's a really fun track, and it's becoming one of my favorite tracks in the world. It's fast and on the edge, which I love."
Napier and Butner pushed start times of 4.98 and 4.96 for runs of 52.35 and 52.37, respectively.

"I'm pleased with my result," said Napier. "I wouldn't be here without the support of the Army, the World Class Athlete Program, and the Olympic Regional Development Authority. Plus, the support of the U.S. Olympic Committee this week was amazing."

Todd Hays (Del Rio, Texas) teamed with Charles Berkeley (Clayton, Calif.) to finish 17th with a combined time of 1:44.94 after sliding runs of 52.49 and 52.45 seconds. Hays had difficulty with a fogged visor in the first heat, impairing his vision down the 16-curves of the course.

Watch the U.S. team navigate the new 2010 Olympic track and learn more about your team by visiting http://www.universalsports.com/.

Complete results can be found by visiting the web site for the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing at http://www.fibt.com/. For additional information, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at (518) 523-1842, ext. 106, or abird@usbsf.com.

1. Thomas Florschutz and Marc Kuhne (GER) 1:43.95 (51.99, 51.96); 2. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 1:44.03 (52.08, 51.95); 3. Pierre Lueders and David Bissett (CAN) 1:44.14 (51.98, 52.16);...8. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA) 1:44.30 (52.01, 52.29);...11. John Napier and Cory Butner (USA) 1:44.72 (52.35, 52.37);...16. Todd Hays and Charles Berkeley (USA) 1:44.94 (52.49, 52.45);

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, Vilter Manufacturing, KBC Helmets, Luminox Watch Company, ULU Boots and Ferris Mfg. Corp. The USBSF would also like to thank the following sponsors and suppliers for their partner, the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project: Whelen Engineering, PPG, Columbia Sportswear, JEGS Automotive, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools, EXA, Lumber Liquidators, Lincoln Electronics and Racing Electronics. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org/.