In a thrilling finish Saturday afternoon, three-time Olympian Steven Holcomb tied for the silver medal in two-man bobsled at the world cup in Königssee, Germany, moving him into second in the world cup standings with two races left in the series.
Holcomb and brakeman Carlo Valdes were the first of three sleds that broke the track record on their first run, sitting third just 0.14 seconds off the pace set by Germany’s Johannes Lochner, but a pair of Latvian sleds were nipping at Holcomb’s heels with only 0.07 seconds separating third from fifth place.
Overcoming a slow start, Holcomb steered his sled to the second-fastest time of the second run with a 49.51, giving him a total time of 1:38.77. Despite his own poor start and skidding his way down the course, Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was able to log the third-fastest second run time and matched Holcomb’s total to tie for silver. Lochner wrapped things up by taking his second consecutive victory, going 1:38.54 to win by 0.23 seconds.
The silver is Holcomb’s first two-man medal on a German track since December 2008, when he took silver in Altenberg. Combined with the gold-silver performance by Elana Meyers Taylor and Jamie Greubel Poser on Friday, Team USA can look forward optimistically to returning to Königssee Feb. 17-26 for the world championships.
"Overall I'm really happy and this is a good preview for what's going to happen in world championships," Holcomb told USA Bobsled & Skeleton. "The first run I made a mistake out of corner S-4, and we went over video and made sure I figured out how to do it right. In a few weeks it's really going to count, we have to be fast on every run in world championships."
The three-time Olympian and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in two-man moved up a notch in the two-man world cup standings. Korea’s Yunjong Won slipped from first to fourth after tying for 16th, allowing Germany’s Friedrich to assume the lead with 1,095 points, followed closely by Holcomb at 1,075. Holcomb ran away with the two-man title in 2014 after winning five of eight races.
Codie Bascue and Sam McGuffie finished 20th with a 1:40.00, while Justin Olsen Evan Weinstock were 29th.