WHISTLER, Canada (Dec. 3, 2016)- Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) debuted the BMW four-person sled in tonight's World Cup race en route to a fourth place finish with his push crew of Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.), Jimmy Reed(Garmisch, Germany) and Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.). The top American team finished a mere 0.03 seconds from the medals.
"I'm pretty happy," Holcomb said. "The crew did a great job pushing and they did what they needed to do to load into the sled and get into position, and it's a tighter more aerodynamic space in this sled. You know, I always want to win, and this was one of the tightest races I've ever seen. I'm glad I was mostly on the right side of it, although I'd prefer to be in the medals."
Holcomb, Valdes, Reed and Michener combined forces for a start time of 4.84 seconds, and Holcomb piloted the new BMW sled into medal contention with the third-best run of the first heat, 51.36 seconds. Just three-tenths of a second separated the top 10 sleds after the first heat. The team bettered their start by 0.02 seconds in run two, and their downtime of 51.61 seconds was fourth best of the heat, moving them into fourth with a total time of 1:42.97.
"The crew is coming together, it's the first time we've competed together," Holcomb said. "The more runs we get, the better we'll get. These guys aren't rookies anymore, they know the drill, so expectations are starting to rise for everyone on the team."
Russian Alexander Kasjanov took his crew of Alexey Zaitsev, Aleksei Pushkarev and Maxim Belugin on a wild ride in the first heat, but it was the fastest time by 0.11 seconds. They were again fastest in the final run to claim gold with a two-run combined time of 1:42.51. This was only his second win in a World Cup race.
Swiss competitor Rico Peter, who finished last season ranked third in four-person standings after earning three bronze World Cup medals, teamed with Janne Bror van der Zijde, Simon Friedli and Thomas Amrhein for second place with an aggregate time of 1:42.71.
Germans Johannes Lochner, Matthias Kagerhuber, Sebastian Mrowka and Christian Rasp moved up from 11th place in the first heat to the medals in the final run. The crew clocked a total time of 1:42:94 for bronze.
Team Codie Bascue made his debut in Night Trian 2 with only 2 practice trips
Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) partnered with Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine), Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.) and Christopher Kinney (Stockbridge, Ga.) in the Night Train 2 for 15th place with a total time of 1:43.53. Team Bascue pushed start times of 4.81 and 4.79 seconds for runs of 51.80 and 51.73 seconds, respectively.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) piloted the original Night Train sled with Nathan Gilsleider (Claremore, Okla.), Brent Fogt (Alpine, Utah) and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (Powhatan, Va.) as the engine, and the crew finished 17th with a combined time of 1:43.71. The crew pushed a start of 4.81 for a run of 51.59 in heat one, and a start of 4.80 for a run of 52.12 in heat two.
Tonight's four-person race concludes the Whistler event. The tour makes its next stop in Lake Placid, N.Y. with races on Dec. 16-17 following an extra week of training on the technical course.
"Lake Placid is our track," Holcomb said. "It's one of the most challenging tracks, and we do well there. Hopefully we can set the tone for the rest of the season and we've got to keep chugging to get back to the level we were at before."
Basque finishes 15th in Night Train 2 Debut and Cunningham finishes 17th in NT1
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1. Alexander Kasjanov, Alexey Zaitsev, Aleksei Pushkarev and Maxim Belugin (RUS) 1:42.51 (51.17, 51.34);
2. Rico Peter, Janne van der Zjide, Simon Friedli and Thomas Amhrein (SUI) 1:42.71 (51.28, 51.43);
3. Johannes Lochner, Matthias Kagerhuber, Sebastian Mrowka and Christian Rasp (GER) 1:42.94 (51.52, 51.42);
4. Steve Holcomb, Carlo Valdes, Jimmy Reed and Sam Michener (USA) 1:42.97 (51.36, 51.61);
15. Codie Bascue, Frank Del Duca, Christopher Kinney and Adrian Adams (USA) 1:43.53 (51.80, 51.73);
17. Nick Cunningham, Nathan Gilsleider, Brent Fogt and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor (USA) 1:43.71 (51.59, 52.12);
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