ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (Feb. 7, 2016)- Multiple World and Olympic champion Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) tried to milk the all-natural track of St. Moritz for speed in today's final heat of the four-person bobsled World Cup after a skiddy first run, but Holcomb wasn't able to make up time. Holcomb and his push crew of Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) finished 15th with a combined time of 2:12.92.
"I had a good second run, I just didn't have the speed," Holcomb said. "Something isn't going well with four-man right now. These guys pushed well and came together today, so I'm happy with that."
USA-1 pushed the Night Train 2 to a push of 5.25 seconds in the first heat to put the team in the mix off the start block, and Holcomb said he tried to navigate the sled away from snow piles that had accumulated in the track.
"I was trying really hard not to hit snow, and the sled got skiddy," Holcomb said. "I made some mistakes and it cost me."
The crew bettered their start to 5.20 in the second run and Holcomb piloted the sled to the finish in 1:06.40. Despite the cleaner run, USA-1 was unable to gain positions against a stacked field.
"The second run was better, but it's not the race we were hoping for," Holcomb said. "When it comes to snow, it's luck of the draw, and we just have to do what we can. It didn't work out for us today. The crew knows we can be fast, it's not like I forgot how to drive today, and we're becoming more cohesive as a crew."
Snow wreaked havoc on results as sleds battled the elements for position. German Maximilian Arndt managed to hang onto this his lead to take the victory with Kevin Korona, Martin Putze and Ben Heber. The German crew claimed gold by 0.18 seconds with a two-run total of 2:11.88. Austrian Benjamin Maier was the surprise silver medalist. Maier teamed with Marco Rangl, Markus Sammer, and Danut Ion Moldovan for a cumulative time of 2:12.06 to finish second. Latvians Oskars Melbardis, Janis Strenga, Arvis Vilkaste and Janis Strenga claimed bronze in 2:12.15.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) teamed with Casey Wickline (Greenville, S.C.), James Reed (Garmisch, Germany) and Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) in the Classroom Champions dedicated sled for 22nd place. The crew pushed a start time of 5.25 seconds en route to a run of 1:06.77 and missed the top-20 cutoff for the second heat by 0.14 seconds.
Competitions from St. Moritz are scheduled to air on Universal HD. Please check local listings to find the Universal HD channel in your area and for updated air times. The four-person race concludes the St. Moritz event. The next stop will be the 2016 World Championships in Igls, Austria.
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1. Arndt, Korona, Putze, Heber (GER) 2:11.88 (1:05.63, 1:06.25);
2. Maier, Rangl, Sammer, Moldovan (AUT) 2:12.06 (1:06.10, 1:05.96);
3. Melbardis, Dreiskens, Vilkaste, Strenga (LAT) 2:12.15 (1:06.00, 1:06.15);
15. Holcomb, Del Duca, Valdes, McGuffie (USA) 2:12.92 (1:06.52, 1:06.40);
22. Cunningham, Wickline, Reed, Michener (USA) 1:06.77 (1:06.77, DNS);
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