Butner and Langton fourth in two-man bobsled finale, Holcomb secures World Cup title

Jan. 25, 2014, 9:16 a.m. (ET)

Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, abird@usbsf.com

Butner and Langton fourth in two-man bobsled finale, Holcomb secures World Cup title

CLARIFICATION: U.S. Bobsled Head Coach Brian Shimer clarified the sled malfunction referred to by Steven Holcomb in the previously published release today. "The retractable pegs that are used to lift the sled were left out during his first run. It was a human error, not a mechanical error, in the first run."

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (Jan. 25, 2014)- Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) led the U.S. men’s team in the two-man bobsled World Cup finale with a fourth place finish in Koenigssee this morning. Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) were close behind their teammates in sixth. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) rallied back in a competitive second heat finish seventh, which was enough to secure the overall two-man bobsled World Cup title.

Butner has emerged as a threat for the two-man podium week after week, and today was no exception. Butner and Langton pushed identical times of 4.91 seconds in the two-heat race, and Butner said he was in the mix at the finish thanks in large part to those starts.

“Chris gave me the pushes we needed and I am so proud of him,” Butner said.

Butner positioned the team in sixth place after the first run, and laid down the third fastest time of the second heat to move the crew up two positions into fourth.  Butner and Langton finished a mere 0.01 seconds from the medals with a total time of 1:40.04.

“It’s one thing to medal at home, but it’s another to do it in Europe,” Butner said. “Even though we came up just short of breaking into the top three, it was a really good day for us. Knowing that I can drive well on these tracks is a confidence booster heading into Sochi.”

Today was Butner’s third fourth place finish this season. He claimed two bronze medals, one in Lake Placid, N.Y. and one in Winterberg, Germany, and capped the year ranked fourth in two-man World Cup standings, just eight points from third.

“What an exciting year it’s been,” Butner said. “There were a lot of ups and downs, but I’m looking forward to ending on a high note as we head to the Olympics.”

Justin Kripps and Bryan Barnett from Canada claimed their first career victory with a total time of 1:39.71. Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann from Switzerland were named European Champions after finishing as the top European sled with a combined time of 1:39.86. Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown helped place two Canadian sleds on the podium with a third place finish after sliding a total time of 1:40.03.

Cunningham and Drbal were fifth after the first run and within striking distance of the medals. The pair powered off the start block with a faster start time, 4.93 seconds, but a few minor mistakes down the course was enough to push them back a spot. Cunningham and Drbal finished sixth with a combined time of 1:40.18. Cunningham concluded the season ranked sixth in two-man points.

Holcomb and Tomasevicz were in an unfamiliar 10th place after the first heat when the sled pegs were left out, and Holcomb was in jeopardy of losing the overall two-man bobsled title to Hefti. The team of sled technicians fixed the problem before the second heat, and USA-1 moved up three spots into seventh with a two-run total of 1:40.23. Holcomb claimed the 2014 two-man bobsled crown with 1645 points.

“That was really close,” Holcomb said. “We had a sled malfunction in the first run that we were able to fix between heats, and it was a wake up call. We almost lost the title. We were able to put down the second run we needed to keep it. It takes more than great driving and pushing. There’s a team behind the team that deserves recognition, and sled technicians Richard Laubenstein, David Cripps and Jim Garde really get the credit today. It was a team effort and it’s why we are the best right now.”

Hefti finished second overall with 1610 points, and Francesco Friedrich from Germany concluded the season in third with 1392 points.

There was something missing from the podium today. The Germans could only muster 10-11-13 place finishes, which is unusual for a team that normally dominates their home tracks.

Racing continues today with the men’s skeleton finale.  The final men’s four-man bobsled and women’s bobsled World Cup races will take place tomorrow. Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at abird@usbsf.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.


1. Justin Kripps and Bryan Barnett (CAN) 1:39.71 (49.91, 49.80); 2. Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann (SUI) 1:39.86 (50.02, 49.84); 3. Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown (CAN) 1:40.03 (50.03, 50.00); 4. Cory Butner and Chris Langton (USA) 1:40.04 (50.18, 49.86);…6. Nick Cunningham and Andreas Drbal (USA) 1:40.18 (50.11, 50.07); 7. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA) 1:40.23 (50.30, 49.93);

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: BMW of North America, Century 21 Real Estate, CEVA Logistics, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Boomerang Carnets, 24 Hour Fitness, KBC Helmets, Eastern European Distribution Company, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, Inc., EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.