WINTERBERG, Ger.—Kaillie Humphries has accomplished nearly everything on the table in the sport of bobsleigh but the one demon she has yet to take down remains the track in Winterberg, Germany.
Calgary’s Humphries reconnected with rookie World Cup brakeman, Toronto’s Cynthia Appiah, where they slid through challenging weather conditions to a fifth-place finish on the 15-corner track with a combined time of 1:55.35.
“I’m not the happiest with today. We pushed really well, the runs were pretty consistent and overall I was happy with how I drove, but the sled just wasn’t running so it is a bit frustrating,” said Humphries. “There is no rhyme or reason to it, I just don’t do well here ,or in Igls, where it is easy to make it down, but hard to make it down fast.”
The 31-year-old Humphries was riding a 12-race medal streak into the 1,330-metre Winterberg track – one where she has captured only two of her 41-careeer World Cup medals.
“This is has always been one of the most difficult for me to figure out and is my arch nemesis on tour for sure,” said Humphries. “It is a bit flatter and you drive by what you see and less of what you feel so it requires a lot less driving. That is hard for my driving.
“Good drivers can adapt to any track, and make the most of it, so I definitely have some learning to do. But I do drive a lot by feel, and I tend to do well on those demanding tracks that requires 100 per cent focus everywhere.”
Humphries’ top rival Elana Meyers Taylor and Kehri Jones of the United States finished on top of the podium with a time of 1:54.43. Germany’s Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek slid into the silver medal position on the podium with a time of 1:54.50. The Americans also grabbed the bronze medal. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans clocked a third-place time of 1:54.67.
Canada’s Alysia Rissling (Edmonton) and Genevieve Thibault (Quebec City) returned to the World Cup circuit with an 11th-place finish at 1:56.01. Christine de Bruin, of Stony Plain, Alta., and Catherine Medeiros, of Mascouche, Que., also rejoined the World Cup circuit in Winterberg where they placed 18th at 1:58.03.
Men’s two-man and skeleton races are set to take centre stage on Saturday in Winterberg. The four-man and women’s skeleton events will be held on Sunday.