Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
(518) 354-2250, email@example.com
USA-1 slides to sixth in four-man
LA PLAGNE, France (Dec. 11, 2011)-The USA-1 BMW crew of Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) finished 0.06 seconds from the medals in sixth this morning. The La Plagne four-man bobsled World Cup was a highly contested race for the medals that came down to hundredths of a second.
“That was close, which always makes for an interesting race,” Holcomb said. “We were tenth off today, and I think our draw hurt our chances for gold. We fought hard, and that’s the way racing goes. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I prefer the sometimes you win, but we did our best and didn’t leave anything behind today.”
The USA-1 Night Train team maintained their status as one of the best push crews on the hill after posting starts of 5.82 and 5.83 seconds. The squad was just 0.18 seconds from the lead in fifth position after the first heat and hoped to move into medal position. Holcomb threaded together identical runs of 58.66 seconds for a combined total of 1:57.32, but the team fell back into sixth.
“I’m very critical of myself,” Holcomb said. “With the naked eye you wouldn’t notice the mistakes I made, but there were some tiny errors. I wasn’t as smooth out of curve six as I needed to be, and maybe that’s where we lost some time. It’s hard to say, really. I expect perfection from myself, and I don’t like when I’m not perfect.”
The German and Russian teams demonstrated the depth of their programs by edging out Holcomb’s team to claim the top five spots. The Germans showed they are still a tour de force after sweeping the medals. Manual Machata piloted Germany-3 to a gold medal finish after clocking a combined time of 1:57.00. Last year’s overall World Cup winner was the only pilot to distance himself from the field today and led by a convincing margin of 0.24 seconds.
The fight for silver and bronze was down to the hundredths. Maximilian Arndt clocked 1:57.24 to finish second with his Germany-2 squad, while Thomas Florschuetz and his Germany-1 crew was just 0.02 seconds out of silver for third. The difference between a silver medal and fifth place was just 0.04 seconds, leaving no room for error in today’s race for the medals. Russia’s top two sleds finished fourth and fifth.
“The Germans are always strong and the Russians have a lot of funding being pumped into their program leading up to 2014,” Holcomb said. “We’re all friends and get along, but they want to beat me as much as I want to beat them. Unfortunately, their wishes came true today, not mine. We’ll get them next week.”
John Napier (Lake Placid, N.Y.) piloted the USA-2 National Guard sled to the finish in 1:58.25 for 13th place. Napier’s crew of Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) made their race debut as a team today. Clark, a former football and track athlete from Centre College in Danville, Ky., attended a rookie camp earlier this year and made the national team in his first season. He’s traveled with the team as an alternate and got his first race opportunity today.
The World Cup tour will continue in Winterberg, Germany before the holiday break, and competitions will take place from Dec. 16-18. For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Machata, Becke, Bredau and Poser (GER) 1:57.00 (58.48, 58.52); 2. Arndt, Tiefert, Speer and Putze (GER) 1:57.24 (58.58, 58.66); 3. Florschuetz, Gerhardi, Kuske and Blas (GER) 1:57.26 (58.66, 58.60);...6. Holcomb, Olsen, Langton and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:57.32 (58.66, 58.66);…13. Napier, Clark, Quinn and Fogt (USA) 1:58.25 (59.16, 59.09);
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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, Under Armour, United States National Guard, Kampgrounds of America, National Strength and Conditioning Association, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.