It was a German 1,2,3 in Winterberg with World Champion Johannes Lochner of Germany leading the field in the 4 – man bobsleigh race at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg. Lochner and his team of brakemen, consisting of Joshua Bluhm, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp, pushed their German team mates Nico Walther and his brake squad Marko Hübenbecker Kevin Korona and Eric Franke (0.23 seconds behind) back into second place. Third place went to Francesco Friedrich (GER), who tied with Johannes Lochner last winter to share the World Championship title. Racing with Jannis Bäcker, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis, Friedrich finished 0.33 seconds behind the winning team. Ahead of Kripps of Canada in fourth place.
The bronze medallist at the European Championships, Benjamin Maier of Austria and his crew celebrated their best result of the season finishing fifth.
Johannes Lochner speaking to the press on the podium was delighted with his victory
“A win like today is always amazing as it boosts your confidence. I am proud of my squad, they did a great job at the start.”
Nico Walther who’s crew couldn’t match the start velocity of their rivals on the short Wintererg track “Getting onto the podium is definitely better than the result in the 2-man. However, we really need to work on our start. Seven or eight hundredths of a second is way too big of a difference.”
Bronze medallist Francesco Friedrich when asked did the conditions impact on the outcome “I think things have balanced out pretty well with the result today. However, there are still a few areas we need to work on. Despite all the snow, the conditions were fair today; they were the same for all of us.”
In the overall standings for the 2017/2018 BMW IBSF World Cup, Johannes Lochner (GER, 826 points) has now extended his lead after winning two out of the four races. Nico Walther (GER, 787) begins the second half of the Olympic season in second place overall. The Canadian Justin Kripps, fourth place in Winterberg, is currently third overall with 754 points.