Universal Sports will air at 1 PM Sunday delayed, or live on FIBT.com at 4 AM and 5:30 AM Eastern Time (suitable for Android)
ALTENBERG, Germany - After a three-week holiday break, there is no easing back into elite bobsled racing as the technically demanding track in Altenberg, Germany awaits the world's best four man crews.
That's what lies ahead for the two Bo-Dyn built Night Train sleds. The sport's followers will know that the Steve Holcomb, triple Olympic medalist, drive the original Night Train bobsled to a 2010 Olympic championship. Four years later, the Park City, Utah pilot, at the rings of the Night Train 2, navigated his way to a bronze medal in Sochi.
But Altenberg has a way of discarding such accomplishments. "I have had my challenges here in Altenberg and I'm looking forward to it," remarked Holcomb. After some of his 2014 Olympic teammates left the sport, Holcomb is now working with new push athletes, thus "enhancing" the challenge.
Bobsled commentator John Morgan added that this course, a stone's throw from the border of the Czech Republic and not far from the elegance of Prague, challenges all comers.
"The whole track is a highlight reel from curve four through the finish with a 270 degree Kreisel turn (almost full circle) where you exit underneath where you enter," Morgan stated. "Speeds will approach 80 miles per hour through there. You then drive the two-corner labyrinth that has the attention of all bobsledders. Weather conditions are expected to warm this weekend which should also provide another challenge for the teams."
Holcomb is one of the very few drivers to avoid crashing in this week's training runs, but avoiding those mishaps is only part of the goal.
"I need to improve also," continued Holcomb. "It is a new year and a new Olympic cycle and I have some great athletes. We just need more time together, but our Night Train 2 crew is improving each week."
So far all USA drivers have crashed in training this week except women's driver Jamie Greubel Poser and Holcomb. The track, a three-time World Championship site, is considered synonymous with Darlington International Raceway in NASCAR which has a reputation as the Lady in Black.
The former East German sports training facility opened here in 1983, in what is known as the Saxony region of Germany.
Bobsled fans can watch the race via live stream Sunday at www.fibt.com at 4 AM and 5:30 AM Eastern Time. The feed is suitable for Android devices. Also, Universal Sports will present a delayed airing Sunday at 1 PM Eastern Time.
ALTENBERG COURSE SPECS:
Length: 1413.12 m (nearly one mile)
Maximum Grade: 15%
Vertical Drop Start to Finish: 122.22 m (39 stories)
Average Grade: 8.65%