Two of Canada’s top bobsleighs ploughed through heavy snow and a deep international field to finish in the top-five on Sunday in Winterberg, Germany on Sunday.
With a newly-formed, high-powered crew behind him that continues to smash the world at the start, Team Kripps came up just short of the four-man podium sliding to fourth spot for the third straight race. Building on the momentum of Saturday’s silver medal triumph in two-man action, Team Spring slid to fifth spot.
Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., along with his crew of Jesse Lumsden (Burlington, Ont.), Alex Kopacz (London, Ont.), and Seyi Smith (Ottawa) battled through the heavy snow in Winterberg to clock a fourth-place time of 1:49.52.
“It’s great to see that we’re consistently in the hunt, and I feel we have the tools to win,” said the 30-year-old Kripps. “In snow races like this it can be a bit of luck. The key for us is to excel at what we can control – to push fast and keep the sled as straight as possible.”
The top Canadian squad did exactly that. Explosive off the start block, the crew boasted the top start times in each heat for the third straight week.
“It was great pushes from the boys again today. We knew we would be facing some inclement weather, and the best chance you have in the snow is a fast push. We did that,” added Kripps, who enjoyed his best performance ever on the 1,330-metre, 15-corner track in Winterberg.
“This isn’t my favourite track and this weekend were my best results here by a lot. We’ve had some really bad results here in the snow over the years so I’m really happy to take away two, fourth-place finishes here.”
Calgary’s Chris Spring continued his hot start to the Olympic year. Winning his first World Cup medal outside of North America on Saturday in the two-man, Spring and his crew were in the podium hunt again today. Spring along with Cam Stones (Whitby, Ont.), Josh Kirkpatrcik (Calgary), and Neville Wright (Edmonton), punched the clock at 1:49.66 for fifth spot.
The Germans swept the four-man podium. Johannes Lochner, Joshua Bluhm, Chris Weber and Christian Rasp struck gold at 1:49.03.
Nico Walther, Marko Huebenbecker, Kevin Korona and Eric Franke slid to a silver-medal winning time of 1:49.26.
Francesco Friedrich, Jannis Baecker, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis completed the sweep, placing third at 1:49.36.
The World Cup now travels to Igls, Austria for the final race before the holiday break.