Kaillie Humphries and Chelsea Valois Bomb to Bobsleigh Bronze at Altenberg World Cup
January 4, 2013
—Cassie Hawrysh leads Canadian skeleton women in eighth—
ALTENBERG, Ger.—The historic golden run may have ended at eight straight victories for Canada’s Kaillie Humphries, but the reigning Olympic champion extended her podium streak to nine as the Bobsleigh World Cup continued on Friday in Altenberg, Germany.
Humprhies headed into the holiday break having won the last eight races dating back to last season where she also became the first Canadian woman to win the World Championships. Even more remarkable is she won all five World Cup stops this year with rookie brakeman, Chelsea Valois of Zenon Park, Sask.
“The streak is over, but I knew it would come to an end at some point,” said the 27-year-old Humphries, whose first of nine career World Cup victories came in Altenberg in 2009. “We had a good day today. I made a small mistake on my second run. This shows that even though you have a good day sometimes others are going to be better than you.”
Sitting in second spot after their first run down the challenging 1,413-metre German track, Calgary’s Humphries and Valois hung on for the bronze medal with a two-run time of 1:57.27.
“Overall it was a good day and I’m happy with how our pushes were,” said Humphries, who added the newly formed Canadian duo continue to learn each race. “There was a crash before us and that was another new experience for Chelsea to respond too. She did great again today."
The Germans dominated on their home track grabbing the top-two spots on the podium Cathleen Martini and Stephanie Schneider teamed up to win the gold at 1:56.95. Sandra Kiriasis and Franziska Bertels slid to the silver medal with a time of 1:57.25. Kiriasis held the previous record for longest winning streak of six straight races that Humphries topped in December.
The bronze medal finish for the Canadian duo extends their podium streak to nine. It was the 17th World Cup medal of Humphries’s career as a pilot.
"The goal is always to finish on the podium for sure," said Humphries. "Our ultimate goal remains the same though and that is to be on top in St. Moritz (World Championships) and in Sochi next year."
The top skeleton women on the planet also took on the punishing Altenberg track following the women’s bobsleigh race.
World Cup rookie, Cassie Hawrysh of Brandon, Man., was the top Canadian in eighth spot with a combined time of 2:03:37 in her first visit to Altenberg.
Sliding in heavy rain, which caused havoc for the world’s best sliders, Calgary’s Sarah Reid and Mellisa Hollingsworth, of Eckville, Alta., were washed down to the bottom of the standings.
Reid was one of many athletes to skid in the challenging conditions – sliding sideways from corner three to four – dropping her to 18th at 2:04.76. Hollingsworth, who was sitting in sixth spot after the opening run, also dropped to a disappointing 19th (2:04.86) after a difficult second run.
“It was a tough day with the exception of Cassie. For her to finish eighth in just her first time at Altenberg is great and she really missed an Olympic qualifier (top-six finish) by one corner,” said Duff Gibson, head coach, Canadian Skeleton Team. “I feel for Sarah and Mellisa. Athletes were sliding all over the place and I don’t think I have ever seen Mellisa outside of the top-10 since Torino. But this stuff happens unfortunately. We need to stay hungry and next week is another week.”
Germany’s Marion Thees finished on top of the women’s skeleton race with a time of 2:02.59. The Americans grabbed the next two spots on the podium. Katie Uhlaender was second at 2:02.60, while Noelle Pikus-Pace slid to the bronze medal with a time of 2:02.87.
The World Cup continues on Saturday in Germany with men’s bobsleigh and skeleton racing.
Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton is a non-profit organization and the national governing body for the sports of bobsleigh and skeleton in Canada. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Dow Chemical, Adidas, KBC Helmets, Eurotech – Viking Engineering, SAIT Polytechnic, Conceptum Sport Logistics, Therapeutica – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee and Own the Podium, Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Complete Results: www.fibt.com
Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:
1. Martini/Schneider, GER 2, 1:56.95; 2. Kiriasis/Bertels, GER 1, 1:57.25; 3. Humphries, Calgary/Valois, Zenon Park, Sask., CAN, 1:57.27; 4. Kamphuis/Vis, NED 1, 1:57.37; 5. Schneiderheinze/Thone, GER 3, 1:57.59
Top-Five Women’s Skeleton Results:
1. Marion Thees, GER, 2:02.59; 2. Katie Uhlaender, USA, 2:02.60; 3. Noelle Pikus-Pace, USA, 2:02.87; 4. Elizabeth Yarnold, GBR, 2:02.93; 5. Anja Huber, GER, 2:03.15
8. Cassie Hawrysh, Brandon, Man., 2:03.37; 18. Sarah Reid, Calgary, 2:04.76; 19. Mellisa Hollingsworth, Eckville, Alta., 2:04.86.