Pierre Lueders Wins Gold in Landmark 200th World Cup Start
January 17, 2009
ST. MORITZ, Sui.—Canada’s Pierre Lueders hopped into his sled for the 200th time of his career on the World Cup and did what he has done 27 other times in the two-man race – win gold.
“That is a lot of races two- and four-man races on the World Cup. I’m not sure what happened in the 100th race, but it was very nice to win in the 200th today,” said Lueders, who won his first World Cup race of the season on Thursday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
The 38-year-old Lueders teamed up with fellow Edmontonian, David Bissett, to stomp down the fastest two runs of the day on the 1,722-metre St. Moritz track after posting times of 1:06.21 and 1:05.87 for a combined time of 2:12.08.
“It was another good day but it was a little tighter race than on Thursday,” said Lueders, who has won 87 World Cup medals throughout his 19-year career on top of the eight World Championship and two Olympic medals on his mantle. “I like this track because it is so different each year because it is natural ice.”
The results indicate the four-time Olympian is in love with the birthplace of the sport of bobsleigh and skeleton, and the longest track in the world. His fifth World Cup victory at St. Moritz, it is the only track in the world where he has as many World Cup wins as Calgary.
The 2008-09 season has been anything but ordinary for one of the most accomplished Canadian Olympians. Lueders got banged up after crashing for the first time in more than a decade during a training run in Whistler and then again early in the season in Altenberg, Germany. Last week his two-man sled was disqualified after winning the first heat in Königssee, Germany because it was one kilogram overweight.
But the New Year along with loads of work to his two-man sled this season brought the return of the legendary pilot back to his top form.
“Through the additional funding received from Own the Podium and others we have done a complete overhaul of our two-man sled since training in Whistler last march,” said Lueders. “We have worked really hard and the sled is now definitely faster than last year.”
Joining the Canadian duo on the podium was Germany’s Andre Lang and Martin Putze who took home the silver medal with a time of 2:12.10. Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter thrilled the hometown crowd with a bronze-medal finish at 2:12.23.
Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask, piloted the other Canadian sled to an 18th-place finish (2:13.75), with Calgary’s Lascelles Brown.
Earlier in the day, three Canadian men also hit the start line for the World Cup skeleton race. Olympic silver medallist, Jeff Pain, led the way for the Canucks. The 38-year-old Calgarian grabbed another Olympic qualifier with a sixth-place finish after clocking-in at 2:17.28.
Calgary’s Keith Loach had his second top-10 in as many starts on the World Cup this year. Loach finished eighth at 2:17.46. Jon Montgomery, of Russell, Man., was 18th (2:18.49).
Germany’s Frank Rommel won the men’s skeleton race after setting the time to beat at 2:15.77. Kristan Bromley, of Great Britain, was second (2:16.74), while Switzerland’s Gregor Staehli found his way back onto the World Cup podium after stopping the clock at 2:16.79.
The World Cup wraps up in St. Mortiz, Switzerland on Sunday with the men’s four-man race.
For more information on Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton, please visit us at www.bobsleigh.ca on the Internet.
Top-Five Men’s Bobsleigh Results: complete results www.fibt.com
1. Pierre Lueders, Edmonton/David Bissett, Edmonton, CAN, 2:12.08; 2. Andre Lange/Martin Putze, GER 1, 2:12.10; 3. Beat Hefti/Thomas Lamparter, SUI 1, 2:12.23; 4. Thomas Florschütz/Marc Kuehn, GER 2, 2:12.39; 5. Wolfgang Stampfer/Martin Lachkovics, AUT 1, 2:12.42
Other Canadian Results:
18. Lyndon Rush, Humboldt, Sask., Lascelles Brown, Calgary, 2:13.75
Top-Five Men’s Skeleton Results:
1. Frank Rommel, GER, 2:15.77; 2. Kristan Bromley, GBR, 2:16.74; 3. Gregor Staehli, SUI, 2:16.79; 4. Michi Halilovic, GER, 2:16.98; 5. Eric Bernotas, USA, 2:17.04.
6. Jeff Pain, Calgary, 2:17.28; 8. Keith Loach, Calgary, 2:17.46; 18. Jon Montgomery, Russell, Man., 2:18.49