Bobsled athletes look to start 2017 strong with World Cup in Altenberg
Parkite Holcomb aims to continue hot streak
Riding the high of five medals in the final World Cup races of 2016 in Lake Placid, N.Y., USA Bobsled & Skeleton athletes will look to keep the momentum in Altenberg, Germany this weekend. Racing will begin Jan. 6 with women’s bobsled and women’s skeleton followed by men’s skeleton and two-man bobsled on Jan. 7. Four-person bobsled will conclude the weekend on Jan. 8.
On Dec. 16-17, USABS athletes racked up two golds, two silvers and a bronze at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid. Led by Steve Holcomb’s (Park City, Utah) two medals, the team now heads overseas for the second half of the season.
Holcomb will team with Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, Calif.) in the two-man event in Altenberg. Valdes pushed for Holcomb in the season-opening race in Whistler, Canada where the pair took 11th. Valdes will also join Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) and Jimmy Reed (Garmisch, Germany) in Holcomb’s four-person sled as the three-time Olympic medalist looks for his third consecutive top-four four-person finish this season.
Codie Bascue (Whitehall, N.Y.) will be the only other men’s pilot to compete, as Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) will head straight to Winterberg, Germany for extra training. Bascue will race with Christopher Kinney (Stockbridge, Ga.) in two-man, while Adrian Adams (Reidsville, N.C.) and Frank Del Duca (Bethel, Maine) will round out Bascue’s four-person team.
On the women’s side, Jamie Greubel Poser (Newton, Pa.) and Elana Meyers Taylor (Douglasville, Ga.) will each compete after finishing in the top two positions in Lake Placid. Greubel Poser, who is currently tied with Canadian Kallie Humphries for the top overall World Cup ranking, will team with Aja Evans (Chicago, Ill.), while Meyers Taylor will race with Kehri Jones (Killeen, Texas), who is healthy and racing for the first time since she and Meyers Taylor crashed in Whistler to open the season. Brittany Reinbolt (Searcy, Ark.) will join Olsen in Winterberg instead of racing in Altenberg.
Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) seeks his third skeleton World Cup medal in three races this season after taking silver in Lake Placid and bronze in Whistler. The 2014 Olympic bronze medalist will be joined by Nathan Crumpton (Park City, Utah) and Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.).
Three-time Olympian Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) is expected to make her season debut after missing the first half with an illness. Meanwhile, after finishing sixth in the first two races of the season, Annie O’Shea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.), who ranked fourth overall in last year’s standings, returns for the second half looking for her first medal of 2016-2017. Kendall Wesenberg (Modesto, Calif.) rounds out the American women’s skeleton competitors. This weekend will be Wesenberg’s second race on the tricky Altenberg track.
After Altenberg, athletes stay in Germany, heading to Winterberg for the fourth leg of the World Cup tour. Additionally, the North American Cup also resumes this week, with athletes heading to Park City, Utah. The Intercontinental and European Cup circuits resume next week in Calgary, Canada and St. Moritz, Switzerland, respectively.
Full schedule of this weekend’s events, with times listed in EST in parenthesis, is below:
10 a.m. (4 a.m. EST): Women’s skeleton
2 p.m. (8 a.m. EST): Women’s bobsled
9:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EST): Men’s skeleton
1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EST): Two-man bobsled
10 a.m. (4 a.m. EST): Four-person bobsled
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