Florian leads USA Skeleton in men's La Plagne World Cup

Jan. 10, 2020, 10:48 a.m. (ET)


Contact: Amanda Bird, USABS Marketing & Communications Director
(518) 354-2250,


Florian leads USA Skeleton in men’s La Plagne World Cup

Photo credit: IBSF

LA PLAGNE, France (Jan. 10, 2020)Austin Florian (Southington, Conn.) finished 18th as the top American in today’s men’s skeleton World Cup in La Plagne. Florian said he’s pleased with how he’s driving, but disappointed with his start times, which are holding him back from being competitive with the best in the world.

“I’m driving well, but I’ve got to push better if I’m looking to finish better,” Florian said. “I’m really happy with my driving and I feel like I learned the track this week. I like this track, and I’m looking forward to coming back to La Plagne with a good push so I can dial it in and perform better than today.”

Florian pushed off the start block in 5.92 seconds in heat one, which was only 21st fastest of the field. He had trouble loading onto his sled, which is problematic on a track like La Plagne that favors fast starters.

“That first run couldn’t have gotten any worse,” Florian said. “I was over amped and it led to that mishap at the start. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make up that time.”

Florian crossed the finish line in 1:01.04 for 19th position. The former ski racer bettered his second push to 5.85, and had a much faster downtime of 1:00.72. Florian moved up one spot into 18th with a combined time of 2:01.76.

Russian athletes won both the women’s and men’s skeleton races. Elena Nikitina won this morning’s women’s race, and Alexander Tretiakov was victorious in the men’s competition with a combined time of 1:58.90. Tretiakov was one of three athletes to cross the finish line in under one minute. Martins Dukurs of Latvia claimed the silver medal in 1:59.27, while Wenqiang Geng from China earned bronze in 2:00.29.

World Cup rookies Andrew Blaser (Meridian, Idaho), and Alex Ivanov (Carlisle, Mass.) missed the top-20 cutoff for the second heat. Blaser posted a start time of 5.83 for a run of 1:01.40 to finish 22nd. He was late out of corner six, which cost him time. Ivanov pushed off the block in 5.98 seconds for a run of 1:02.78 for 27th place. Ivanov was late exiting corner 15 and missed the crossover into 16, which led to his slower time.

Racing continues in La Plagne tomorrow with women’s bobsled at 10 a.m. local time, and men’s two-man bobsled at 1:30 p.m.

Please contact USABS Marketing & Communications Director Amanda Bird at 518-354-2250, or amanda.bird@usabs.com, with media inquiries.




1. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) 1:58.90 (59.28, 59.62);
2. Martins Dukurs (LAT) 1:59.27 (59.60, 59.67);
3. Wenqiang Geng (CHN) 2:00.29 (1:00.07, 1:00.22);
18. Austin Florian (USA) 2:01.76 (1:01.04, 1:00.72);
22. Andrew Blaser (USA) (1:01.40, DNS);
27. Alex Ivanov (USA) (1:02.78, DNS);


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, Omaze, Kampgrounds of America, BiPro, 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.