In a race full of controversy Francesco Friedrich (GER) has successfully defended his European Championship title in the 2-man bobsleigh. At the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck (AUT), which also counted as the championship race for European athletes, Friedrich and his brakeman Thorsten Margis claimed the top stop for the first time this Olympic season.
Joining European Champion Friedrich on the World Cup podium was World Championship runner-up Justin Kripps/Jesse Lumsden (CAN, 0.27 seconds back), who finished second. Silver in the European Championships went to the Swiss pairing of Clemens Bracher/Michael Kuonen, who finished third in the World Cup race. At the previous stop on the tour in Winterberg, Bracher caused a sensation when he won gold on his World Cup début. The bronze medal at the European Championships in Innsbruck was awarded to Germany’s Johannes Lochner/Joshua Bluhm, who finished fourth in the World Cup race.
In a race that had two disqualification’s around equipment rules, saw Canadian Nick Poloniato disqualified from a medal position for a rule infringement regarding the opening gap at the rear of the sled, the infraction being a mere 4mm, despite Canadian protests the jury ruled that the sled was in-eligible and therefore a DQ promoting the Swiss sled to bronze.
Dutch pilot Ivo De-Bruin was also disqualified from the race, the IBSF jury did not announce the reasons for this disqualification.
A relived Francesco Friedrich speaking after his first race win of the season stated “Yes, you could say that today has been a real relief. We knew that we had what it takes to win here. Innsbruck is our track and this is now our fourth win here in a row. I can’t really say anything about our sled at the moment. We need to look at all the times when things have calmed down.”
Great Britain pairings of Bradley Hall and Nick Gleeson finished in 19th place with Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon in 20th spot.
Following the fifth of eight races in the BMW IBSF World Cup 2017/2018, Justin Kripps (CAN, 1014 points) has defended his lead ahead of team mate Chris Spring (CAN, 963), who finished sixth in Innsbruck. By securing victory in Innsbruck, the new European Champion Francesco Friedrich (GER, 859) has made it into the top three in the World Cup standings for the first time this winter.
RacerReady will be reporting the results and views from the world cup races immediately the action finishes.
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