5 January 2014

Germans sweep the 4-man podium at home

The second event in Winterberg today, following on from the 2-woman bob, is the second 4-man bob. Yesterday it was the young Germans Max Arndt and Francisco Freidrich topping the standings on home ice.

With a couple of crashes on turn nine yesterday today's competition didn't look like it was going to get much better as the second sled down the course in heat one Oskars Melbardis of Latvia hit the end of the turn and flipped over. But his crash was to prove the only one as everyone else managed to get through that turn, some more neatly that others.

The former World Cup leader American Steven Holcomb who was one of those who flipped on the second run yesterday seemed to be more cautious today on his first run only recording the 
sixth fasted time. Meanwhile ahead of him the top four after the end of run one were the same as they finished yesterday Arndt, Freidrich, Alexandr Zubkov RUS and Thomas Florschütz GER.

One thing that is up for grabs as we head towards Sochi is the third placed nation to pick up that third sled for the men's competition. After yesterday the Russians had edged ahead of the Americans in that race. Germany  lead on 2023 points from Canada 1870, Russia 1866, USA 1559. The American's were hoping for better today and thankfully kept all three sleds upright and into round 2, only two of them were behind the 3rd Russian.

After the first heat USA had Holcomb 6th, Nick Cunningham 16th and Cory Butner (who crashed in heat one yesterday) 19th. But the Russians had Zubkov 3rd, Alexandr Kasjanov 8th and Nikita Zakharov 11th.

In the second heat there weren't that many major climbers one exception was USA's Butner who stayed in the leaders box for quite some time and eventually would climb to 13th, sadly the only one of the six that really mattered in the USA v Russia match up to slip below his was his team mate Cunningham. Beat Hefti SWI repeated his performance of yesterday in climbing from 9th to 6th, which relegated Holcomb one place. But the only other significant change was Thomas Florschütz overcoming a 0.03 deficit behind Zubkov into a 0.03 advantage and taking the final podium slot.

German clean sweep


1. Maximillian Arndt GER 55.02 + 55.07 = 1:50.09
2. Francisco Freidrich GER 55.05 + 55.27 = 1:50.32 +0.23
3. Thomas Florschütz GER 55.21 + 55.28 = 1:50.49 +0.40
4. Alexandr Zubkov RUS 55.18 + 55.34 = 1:50.52 +0.43
5. Chris Spring CAN 55.32 + 55.51 = 1:50.83 +0.74
6. Beat Hefti SWI 55.47 + 55.55 = 1:51.02 +0.93

Selected others

7. Steven Holcomb USA 1:51.03
8. Nikita Zakharov RUS 1:51.12
9. Rush Lyndon CAN 1:51.17
10. Alexandr Kasjanov RUS 1:51.18
11. Justin Kripps CAN 1:51.22
13. Cory Butner USA 1:51.54
16. Nick Cunningham 1:51.67

World Cup Standings

1. Arndt  GER 1038
2. Zubkov RUS 922
3. Holcomb USA 911
4. Spring CAN 904
5. Florschütz GER 864
6. Kasjanov RUS 816
7. Freidrich GER 756

Team points

Germany  2658
Russia 2362
Canada 2342
USA 1943

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