Steve Holcomb wins 5th 2-man bobsled World Cup of season
Canadians Justin Kripps, Bryan Barnett 5th
Steven Holcomb won his fifth two-man bobsled race of the season on Saturday in Igls, Austria., pairing with Steven Langton for a World Cup victory that extended the Americans' lead overall.
It was Holcomb's first two-man victory on a European track since February 2007, when he tied for a win at Cesana Pariol. His last four-man win on European soil was in December 2009.
Holcomb and Langton had the fastest runs in both heats, posting a winning time of 1 minute, 43.72 seconds. Beat Hefti and Thomas Amrhein of Switzerland were second in 1:43.95, and Alexander Zubkov and Dimitry Trunenkov of Russia were third in 1:44.00.
"Last year we debuted the BMW M2 prototype and didn't fare so well. We finished 14th and had some troubles," Holcomb said. "It was nice to come back this year and redeem ourselves. ... I think we showed the sled can be really fast, so I'm excited."
Holcomb and Langton held the lead after the first run, then got off to a 5.13-second start time in the second heat — slightly slower than their top rivals. But Holcomb made limited mistakes on the drive, the BMW sled kept picking up speed and wound up being the only sled to crack the 125-kph barrier in that final run.
"It builds confidence when you're sitting in the lead," Holcomb said. "A lot of people were critical of us last week, and we wanted to come back and show that we're not out of contention."
It was Holcomb's fifth two-man win of the season, extending his lead over Hefti in the World Cup standings to 77 points with one race remaining.
Canada's top finisher was Justin Kripps paired with Bryan Barnett in 5th.