Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager
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Holcomb and Langton settle for fifth in one-heat race
ALTENBERG, Germany (Jan. 7, 2012)– Heavy snow delayed the Altenberg two-man bobsled World Cup competition for two hours, but a brief break in the weather system allowed for a fair first heat. The second run was cancelled after the pilot sleds experienced poor visibility, and the jury decided to keep first heat times as final results. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) were able to finish fifth and were within striking distance of the medals.
“It’s frustrating, because I think we could have moved up,” Holcomb said. “To have two two-man races in a row influenced by the weather is tough, but it’s a part of the sport. It seems like Germany has a curse against bobsled races this season, but hopefully our race weather luck turns around.”
USA-1 pushed the Under Armour sled off the starting block through light snow in 5.30 seconds, and Holcomb smoothly navigated the team to the finish in 56.81 seconds for fifth position. With just 0.08 seconds separating USA-1 from third, Holcomb was hoping to thread together a flawless final heat to move into medal position.
“I had one of the best runs ever on this track in the first heat,” Holcomb said. “We were hindered at the start by the wind, so we were pumped to come back second run and prove that we belonged in the medals. I think we could have taken back that eight-hundredths in a heartbeat, but we’ll never know if we could have or not, so we need to just move on.”
Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske were favorites on their home track and lived up to the hype by winning with a run of 56.26 seconds. The surprise was that GER-1 was only 0.01 seconds ahead of GER-2 crew Maximilian Arndt and Marko Huebenbecker. Swiss pilot Beat Hefti has opted to forego four-man competition to become a two-man specialist, and it paid off today with a bronze medal with teammate Thomas Lamparter. The duo slid to the finish in 56.73 seconds to finish just 0.01 seconds ahead of Russian legend Alexander Zubkov.
Former track star Dallas Robinson (Richmond, Ky.) made his World Cup debut today as John Napier’s (Lake Placid, N.Y.) brakeman in the Alamo sled. With just a few weeks of sliding experience, Robinson nervously helped plow Napier’s sled through the snowy start for a push time of 5.57 seconds. Team USA-2 clocked a run of 57.65 seconds for 17th place.
“It’s snowing harder now, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” Holcomb. “We’re going back to the hotel to prepare for four-man, and we’ll be ready to go rain or snow or shine.”
Watch the Altenberg four-man bobsled event tomorrow morning at 9 am local time LIVE by visiting www.fibt.com. Universal Sports will also broadcast the events with commentary and interviews on one-week delay. Programs will air Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at 6 pm EST.
For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (518) 354-2250.
1. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske (GER) 56.26; 2. Maximilian Arndt and Marko Huebenbecker (GER) 56.27; 3. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 56.73;…5. Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton (USA) 56.81;….17. John Napier and Dallas Robinson (USA) 57.65;
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, 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.