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USA Bobsled and Skeleton

Rohbock and Fleming Claim Gold in Women’s Bobsled World Cup

Jan. 10, 2009, 11:31 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager

(518) 523-1842, ext 106, abird@usbsf.com

 

For Immediate Release

January 10, 2009

 

Rohbock and Fleming Claim Gold in Women’s Bobsled World Cup

 

KÖNIGSSEE, Germany Shauna Rohbock (Park City, Utah) and Valerie Fleming (Park City, Utah) celebrated their first gold medal of the season in the women’s bobsled World Cup competition in Königssee, Germany today.  Watch Rohbock and Fleming claim gold on one of the world’s most complicated courses by visiting www.UniversalSports.com. 

 

“I’ve always enjoyed this track,” said Rohbock.  “There’s a section of s-curves that are really fun to drive and it’s different from any other track in the world.  In the past I felt like I could have won here, but had a squirrelly run and blew it.  I’ve been wanting this win for awhile now.”

 

Rohbock has collected a medal of every color this season, starting with bronze in Altenberg, Germany, silver in Igls, Austria, and a gold in today’s race.  

 

“I’m glad that I’ve been on the podium for the last three races, and I want to carry this momentum and build it towards World Championships,” said Rohbock.  “It feels awesome to win, especially after how I slid last season.  I had problems with my sled last year, and we were able to solve those issues.”

 

Rohbock and Fleming, the 2006 Olympic silver medalists, pushed a start time of 5.35 seconds in the first heat, and slid to the finish in 50.78 seconds.  Team Rohbock led a field of 20 sleds by only nine-hundredths of a second going into the second heat. 

 

“We’re always working on improving our starts,” said Fleming.  “Our first push wasn’t as good as we’d like, but we came back and were closer with the field at the start in the second heat.  Shauna is driving really well, and I’d like to feel like I’m part of that by giving us a good start.”

 

The U.S. pair improved their start in the second run with a time of 5.33 seconds, and raced to the finish in 51.13 seconds, second fastest time of the heat.  Rohbock and Fleming crossed the final timing eye with a combined time of 1:41.91, fourteen-hundredths of a second ahead of the field, for the gold. 

 

Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke from Great Britain had their best result of the season after claiming the silver medal today with a combined time of 1:42.05 after sliding runs of 50.87 and 51.18.  Defending World Cup champion Sandra Kiriasis teamed with Romy Logsch to tie the British team for the silver medal.  Kiriasis was in fourth after the first heat with a time of 51.02, but moved up into second after sliding the fastest time of the second heat, a 51.03. 

 

Erin Pac (Farmington, Conn.) piloted the second U.S. sled, and has been steadily climbing in world standings.  Pac and push athlete Michelle Rzepka (Novi, Mich.) powered off the starting block with the fastest push time of the first heat, a 5.29, for the third best time of the heat, a 50.98. Pac was ahead of veteran drivers like reigning Olympic champion Kiriasis. 

 

“When you’re on the line, you’re focused on having a good run,” said Pac.  “You’re not thinking about beating anyone, but about giving your best.  It is exciting to know that I can beat the Germans and be in the mix, and it definitely gives me confidence.  I have a lot less experience than anyone else, and I need a little more time to get comfortable.”

 

Pac and Rzepka pushed a 5.31 for a run of 51.44 seconds, moving the team into sixth with a total time of 1:42.42.

 

“This is only my second full year on World Cup,” said Pac.  “I placed 17th here last season, so sixth is an improvement.  It’s a little hard to taste the medals and lose it, but I’m still happy with today’s result.”

 

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

 

Results:

1. Shauna Rohbock and Valerie Fleming (USA) 1:41.91 (50.78, 51.13); 2. Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke (GBR) 1:42.05 (50.87, 51.18); 2. Sandra Kiriasis and Romy Logsch (GER) 1:42.05 (51.02, 51.03);…6. Erin Pac and Michelle Rzepka (USA) 1:42.42 (50.98, 51.44);

 

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 athttp://bobsled.teamusa.org.

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