Snow Halts Canadian Men’s Bobsleigh and Skeleton Athletes’ Drive for Podium in Germany
January 14, 2017
—Barrett Martineau Leads Canadians in 13th in men’s skeleton—
WINTERBERG, Ger.—A finicky track, blowing winds and heavy snow determined the results at the men’s World Cup two-man bobsleigh and skeleton races in Winterberg, Germany on Saturday.
Coming off a career-best eighth place finish last weekend in Altenberg, Calgary’s Barrett Martineau was the top Canuck once again in the men’s skeleton race.
The 25-year-old Martineau clocked a two-run time of 1:54.22 to finish in 13th place on the 1,330-metre track.
“I’m not overly satisfied with todays result. I was aiming for better,” said Martineau, who added this, was a career-best result in Winterberg. “I have very little experience here, and struggled on this track in the past. Being a really flat track means that you need to be perfect with the lines, and have the proper equipment to be fast.
“My push, and the sliding itself went well today. The real struggle with today was equipment, but this year is all about getting things figured out for next season. It’s a trial and error process to find out what works best on which tracks. I’ve gained some valuable information this race in order to become more competitive the next time I come back.”
Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., finished 17th at 1:54.58, while Canada’s rookie on the World Cup, Kevin Boyer, did not qualify for the second heat, placing 25th.
Latvia’s Dukurs brothers have found their top speed after struggling in the early part of the season. Martins Dukurs shattered the field with a golden time of 1:52.04. Tomass finished sixth-tenths back in second at 1:52.66. Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov moved four spots up the standings into third after clocking the second-fastest final heat time. Tretiakov finished with a combined time of 1:52.71.
Meanwhile, the men’s two-man bobsleigh competition was anything but a fair race with heavy wind gusts and blowing snow wreaking havoc for the world’s top pilots.
Sitting in 12th spot after the opening run, Canada’s Justin Kripps (Summerland, B.C.) and Jesse Lumsden (Burlington, Ont.) plummeted six spots in the standings to 18th at 1:53.44 in the snow storm.
“It was snowing and blowing like no tomorrow. The guys sweeping the track did so with the broom upside down unless there was a German sled coming down,” said Stefan Bosch, head coach, Canadian Bobsleigh Team. “In the second run it started snowing and blowing so hard when our guys started and then it stopped pretty much right after their run.”
The Germans slid to the top two steps of the podium. Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis were first with a time of 1:51.67. Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm were second at 1:52.38. Latvia’s Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis were third with a time of 1:52.44.
Canada’s other two sleds did not qualify for the second run. Nick Poloniato (Hamilton) and Derek Plug (Calgary) were 22nd. Battling a banged up knee injury Chris Spring (Calgary) and Neville Wright (Edmonton) were 23rd.
The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Winterberg with the women’s skeleton and four-man bobsleigh races.
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 – Karbon, Driving Force and Conceptum Sport Logistics – along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee. Bobsleigh CANADA Skeleton develops Olympic and world champions. Please visit us at www.bobsleighcanadaskeleton.ca.
Men’s Skeleton Results:
Men’s Two-Man Results: http://www.ibsf.org/en/component/events/event/168012