Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED: The third ranked Russian sled driven by Dmitry Abramovitch was disqualified following the competition. All times in the original report are correct, but all sleds ranked 9th and below gained one position as a result of Abramovitch's disqualification.
World Cup concluded with the four-man bobsled Olympic test event today
RZHANAYA POLYANA, Russia (Feb. 17, 2013)- The four-man bobsled World Cup season wrapped up with the test event on the 2014 Olympic track this morning. Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) finished in the unfamiliar position of 10th, but Holcomb is confident the dress rehearsal is not a reflection of how the crew will perform when it’s show time in 2014.
“We have a few more days here before the Games, so I will have to work hard to figure it out,” Holcomb said. “I’m confident [head coach] Brian Shimer and I can do it again.”
Holcomb’s 2012 World Championship push crew of Langton, Olsen and Tomasevicz posted two of the best start times of the competition after blasting the sled off the block in 4.84 and 4.82 seconds. The sled broke away from Holcomb a handful of times down the course, and USA-1 was in 11th position after the first run. The crew laid it all on the line in the final run of the season and Holcomb negotiated the crew smoothly to the finish. Their total time of 1:53.10 nestled USA-1 behind Beat Hefti from Switzerland.
“I thought the second run was much better, but the time didn’t reflect it,” Holcomb said. “I don’t have enough runs yet to pinpoint where I lost all the time. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as just watching the clock.”
Latvian Oskars Melbardis claimed his first four-man bobsled victory with his crew of Daumants Dreiskens, Arvis Vilkaste and Intars Dambis. The Latvians are consistently one of the fastest push teams in the world, but Melbardis shocked the field by threading together two clean and consistent runs to nab the lead by a mere 0.02 seconds with a combined time of 1:52.29.
Thomas Florschuetz and his team of Ronny Listner, Andreas Bredau, Thomas Blaschek narrowly missed winning the test event. The Germans finished second with a two-run total of 1:52.31.
Alexander Zubkov from the host nation had high expectations for his final performance and was within striking distance of overtaking the lead. He teamed with Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Maxim Mokrousov for powerful push times, but Zubkov made slight errors that bumped the crew into third with a total time of 1:52.43.
Third-year pilot Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) was gifted tremendous push times of 4.87 and 4.83 seconds by his push crew of Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.), Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah).
“My guys really stepped it up today,” Cunningham said. “A huge push and great velocity is the reason I was able to move up some spots in the final run. My driving is still a work in progress and I will continue to learn everything I can.”
Cunningham made a few driving errors in the first run, but he neatened up his trip in the final with a speedy time of 56.59 seconds. USA-2 moved up into 12th to tie the Austrians with a two-run total of 1:53.25.
“It’s been a great year of ups and downs, but I learned a lot and I’m eager to turn some heads next year,” Cunningham said.
Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) teamed with Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.), Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) for 23rd place. Despite a clean run of 57.23 seconds USA-3 was unable to climb any higher than their start number of 24th.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Melbardis, Dreiskens, Vilkaste, Dambis (LAT) 1:52.29 (56.15, 56.14); 2. Florschuetz, Listner, Bredau Blaschek (GER) 1:52.31 (56.01, 56.30); 3. Zubkov, Negodaylo, Trunenkov and Mokrousov (RUS) 1:52.43 (56.08, 56.35);…10. Holcomb, Olsen, Langton and Tomasevicz (USA) 1:53.10 (56.54, 56.56); 12. Cunningham, Clark, Drbal and Fogt (USA) 1:53.25 (56.66, 56.59);…23. Butner, Robinson, Langton and Quinn (USA) (57.23, DNS);
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, WIDIA, Vivat!, Global Forwarding, KBC Helmets, Azad Watches, Latta USA, Ludus Tours, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Autism Speaks, Park City Lodging, EDAS/Ripxx, UberSense, Tesa Tape and Ferris Mfg. Corp. For more information, please visit the USBSF website at http://bobsled.teamusa.org.