Florian impresses with ninth place finish in second career men's skeleton World Cup start

Jan. 04, 2019, 10:49 a.m. (ET)

 

Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250, amanda.bird@usabs.com

 

Florian impresses with ninth place finish in second career men’s skeleton World Cup start

 

Photo credit: Viesturs Lacis/IBSF

 

ALTENBERG, Germany (Jan. 4, 2019)– In only his second career World Cup start and second ever race on the complex Altenberg track, Austin Florian(Southington, Conn.) led USA Skeleton with a ninth place finish this morning. Florian’s teammates Kyle Brown(Concord, N.H.) and Greg West(Springfield, Mo.) finished 13th and 16th, respectively.

“I felt great today, I really gelled with the track this week and it made sense to me,” Florian said. “I felt like I was flowing well with the track.”

Florian has already competed in eight races this season, ranging from the North American Cup tour to the European Cup and his World Cup debut. The former ski racer started his promising future in skeleton by winning the 2018 North American Cup title and put together a solid performance at team trials to earn a World Cup berth. The coaching staff created a plan for Florian to ease into the elite tour this season, and he’s already making a mark.

“When I was here training before the holiday break I felt burned out,” Florian said. “I was happy to take a break, and I feel great now. I feel the closest I’ve been to pushing my best all season since my hamstring tear over the summer. I feel like I just need to build back some more strength and speed.”

Florian burst off the block in 5.08 seconds for the fifth best start time of the opening heat and raced to the finish in 57.89 seconds to put him in seventh place amongst an accomplished field of competitors. Despite the snow, Florian nearly matched his start time in run two with a push time of 5.09. Inexperienced with racing, let alone with varying conditions, Florian put together another solid run of 58.78 seconds. He dropped back two spots into ninth with a combined time of 1:56.67 to secure his first World Cup top-10.

The “Russian Rocket” Alexander Tretiakov was victorious in 1:55.09. Korean Sungbin Yun claimed the silver medal in 1:55.66, while Russia’s Nikita Tregubov took bronze in 1:55.93. Team Germany did not medal, finishing 4-5-6 on their home track.

Brown clocked a total time of 1:58.11 for 13th place, his personal best on the Altenberg track. Brown has only raced three times before in Altenberg; two Intercontinental Cup races in January 2018, where he finished 15th and 17th, and a World Cup race in January 2015, where he finished 28th.

West finished 16th with a combined time of 1:58.29. West struggled out of corner four in the first heat, resulting in the 16th best time of the heat, 58.88 seconds. He tried to steer himself out of snow drifts in run two, but despite a nice run, he was unable to gain any positions with a downtime of 59.41 seconds. This is West’s fifth race in Altenberg. He finished 22nd in last season’s World Cup race, and his personal best finish on the German track was 12th in a 2013 European Cup.

World Cup racing continues in Altenberg tomorrow with women’s bobsled at 1:15 p.m. local time/7:15 a.m. EST, followed by men’s two-man bobsled at 4:30 p.m. local time/10:30 a.m. EST. The Olympic Channel and NBCSN will broadcast with some live and same delay coverage. NBCSports.com/Live and OlympicChannel.com will also stream the events live.

For media inquiries, please contact Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director, at amanda.bird@usabs.com, or at (518) 354-2250. 

Results

1. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:55.09 (57.09, 58.00);
2. Sungbin Yun (KOR) 1:55.66 (57.58, 58.08);
3. Nikita Tregubov (RUS) 1:55.93 (57.64, 58.29);
9. Austin Florian (USA) 1:56.67 (57.89, 58.78);
13. Kyle Brown (USA) 1:58.11 (58.66, 59.45);
16. Greg West (USA) 1:58.29 (58.88, 59.41);

About USA Bobsled & Skeleton
USA Bobsled & Skeleton (USABS), based in Lake Placid, N.Y., is the national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the United States. USABS would like to thank its sponsors, suppliers and contributors for their support: BMW of North America, Under Armour, Kampgrounds of America, Thorne Research, Boomerang Carnets, Hudl, Tesa Tape, PVS International, Ferris Mfg. Corp, Machintek, deBotech and Carpenter. For more information, please visit the USABS website at www.usabs.com.

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