Butner and Drbal lead U.S. team in fifth; Holcomb and Tomasevicz unveil BMW prototype
Contact: Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, firstname.lastname@example.org
Butner and Drbal lead U.S. team in fifth;
Holcomb and Tomasevicz unveil BMW prototype
IGLS, Austria (Jan. 19, 2013)-Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) and Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) raced the Autism Speaks sled to a fifth place finish in their Igls debut to lead the U.S. in the men’s two-man bobsled World Cup today.
“I’m excited to get a top five finish my first time on this track,” Butner said. “Training was going well, so we were optimistic going into the race. The sled wanted to go fast, and all I had to do was point it in the right direction.”
Butner and Drbal were seated in seventh after a first run of 52.72 seconds, and USA-2 knew they were within striking distance of the medals if they were flawless in the final heat.
“After looking at the time sheet after the first heat, I told Andreas that we had a shot to move up if we could better our start time,” Butner said. “We made a small improvement, and it was enough to help us gain a couple spots.”
Butner and Drbal bettered their start by 0.01 seconds in the final heat to give Butner extra time down the course. The Autism Speaks sled crossed the finish line in 1:45.61, which was enough to move USA-2 into fifth.
Swiss athletes Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter edged out their competitors for gold by just 0.10 seconds with a two-run total of 1:45.04. Germans Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske claimed silver, while their teammates Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker were 0.12 seconds off the pace for bronze.
National Guardsman Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) and Dallas Robinson (Georgetown, Ky.) also competed in Igls for the first time today. Robinson returned to tour a few weeks ago after rehabilitating from an injury early in the season, and helped push Cunningham to identical start times of 5.18 seconds. The crew clocked runs of 52.91 and 53.06 seconds to finish ninth with a total time of 1:45.97.
While Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) weren’t in the medals with a 14th place finish, they made a gutsy decision to unveil the new BMW prototype sled in the race today. The sled was picked up in Munich, Germany yesterday, and Holcomb opted to take a risk by racing it out of the box to gain additional runs before the 2013 World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland next week.
“Sometimes you have to take a big risk to prepare for the future,” Holcomb said. “I wanted to race it, because we only get six training runs in St. Moritz. I wanted the extra runs in the sled, because it’ll take a little time to figure it out. I don’t know any sled project that comes out of the box and wins, so we knew we might have to lose before we can win.”
Holcomb and Tomasevicz were strong coming off the start block in the first run, but Holcomb had difficulty loading into the newly designed sled and tangled his feet in the driving ropes. The sled veered to the side and smacked the wall before skidding into corner one.
“The sled is a little narrower, so it’s not as easy to get into,” Holcomb said. “But it’s not like you can go half speed in a race. We went as hard as we could. My spikes got caught in the ropes and I reacted one way while the sled reacted the other way. Unfortunately we wasted half a second right there when we hit the wall and skid.”
USA-1 was unable to make up time down the course after the mistake and could only muster a combined time of 1:46.26 for 14th.
Holcomb will get another shot at racing the BMW sled before World Championships in the team event at 3:30 p.m. local time.
Please contact Amanda Bird, USBSF Marketing & Communications Director, at email@example.com or 518-354-2250 with media inquiries.
1. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter (SUI) 1:45.04 (52.38, 52.66); 2. Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske (GER) 1:45.14 (52.41, 52.73); 3. Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker (GER) 1:45.16 (52.44, 52.72);…5. Cory Butner and Andreas Drbal (USA) 1:45.61 (52.72, 52.89);…9. Nick Cunningham and Dallas Robinson (USA) 1:45.97 (52.91, 53.06);…14. Steven Holcomb and Curt Tomasevicz (USA) 1:46.28 (53.09, 53.19);
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, 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.