Steven Holcomb finishes 12th in Canada
Steven Holcomb (Park City) and Sam McGuffie (Cypress, Texas) had a top-six finish within their grasp, but a major mistake at the top of the track caused by an equipment problem cost the team six positions. Holcomb and McGuffie finished 12th in the BMW sled as the top American team in last Saturday’s two-man bobsled World Cup with a combined time of 1:43.69.
"There was an equipment malfunction in the second run and I had some trouble controlling the sled," Holcomb said. "It’s unfortunate, but that’s what happens when you’re testing things. It’s a small flaw and we’ll get it fixed."
Holcomb and McGuffie pushed matching starts of 4.90 seconds in the two-heat race, and Holcomb piloted his sled to the finish in 51.51 seconds to put the team in sixth heading into the finale. An equipment issue that wasn’t spotted until after the race was completed made navigating the sled in the final run problematic for Holcomb. A bump and skid at the top of the course cost the crew spots, moving them into 12th after a second run time of 52.18.
"I think we could have moved up into the top six, if not into the medals," Holcomb said. "I guess the end result isn’t as bad as some others who crashed tonight, but I was still hoping for a better finish."
Chris Spring and Lascelles Brown brought home gold for Canada with a two-run total of 1:42.76. Latvians Ugis Zalims and Intars Dambis were second in 1:42.96, while Russians Alexander Kasjanov and Aleksei Pushkarev were third in 1:43.00.
Nick Cunningham (Monterey, California) and Carlo Valdes (Newport Beach, California) fell victim to the notorious 50/50 corner. Holcomb named the corner before the 2010 Olympic Games for the 50-percent chance sleds have to make it through the tricky combination. The crew was in the running for a top-10 finish after a first heat time of 51.67, but Cunningham ran into trouble halfway down the course causing the sled to flip. The crew managed to cross the finish line in 55.06 to finish the race in 19th with a combined time of 1:46.73.
Dakarai Kongela (Suquamish, Washington) teamed with Nic Taylor (Hayward, California) for his second career World Cup start. The duo clocked the ninth-fastest start of the first heat, 4.88, for the 21st-best time of 53.31 seconds, just missing the top-20 cutoff for the final heat. The Koreans were disqualified after the brakeman kicked out of the sled following their crash, bumping Kongela and Taylor up into 20th.
Teams will have a brief break before the tour resumes in Europe with World Cup races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Koenigssee, Germany, and the 2016 World Championships in Igls, Austria.
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