Justin Kripps and Cam Stones wasted no time sliding back onto the World Cup two-man bobsleigh podium after capturing the bronze medal at the holy grail of sliding tracks in St. Moritz, Switzerland on Saturday.
Competing in just their second two-man race of the season with international travel risks associated with COVID-19 keeping them in Canada until January, the 34-year-old Kripps (Summerland, B.C.), and Stones (Whitby, Ont.) stormed to the bronze medal while clocking a two-run time of 2:12.84 at the birthplace of the sliding sports.
“Such a great day for us in St. Mortiz. The sun was shining. The track was much faster than in training and we had a lot of fun on our way to our first ever two-man medal on this track,” said Kripps, the reigning Olympic two-man champion who was fifth at last week’s season-opener.
It was the 17th World Cup two-man medal for Kripps. Seven of them have come with the 29-year-old Stones in his sled since the two joined forces following the 2018 Olympics. Kripps had never won a medal in St. Moritz until last year when he and Stones teamed up with Ben Coakwell and Ryan Sommer to win the prestigious four-man title.
“It was another great day in St. Moritz for Team Kripps. It is easily becoming one of our favourite tracks, and is especially fun to win medals on,” added Stones. “Justin’s driving was great, and we are really looking forward to trying to defend our four-man title from last year tomorrow.”
Chalking up solid start times in both heats, the Canadian duo clocked the third-fastest time in their first rip down the only non-refrigerated track in the world. The Canadians held onto the final spot on the podium despite having the fifth-fastest final run time on the 1,700-metre chute of natural ice that winds its way to the finish line in the town of Celerina.
“It is so nice to be back here in St. Moritz,” added Kripps. “It is the birthplace of bobsleigh. It is like Monaco for the Grand Prix. There is so much history and always such a treat to slide here.”
The Canadians shared the podium with two German sleds. Francesco Friedrich and Alexander Schueller captured the gold with a time of 2:11.92. Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer finished in the silver-medal position with a time of 2:12.37.
One other Canadian sled also made its return to the World Cup. Calgary’s Chris Spring, who was competing on the World Cup for the first time in more than a year, was pushed by Ottawa’s Mike Evelyn. The newly-formed team finished in 11th spot at 2:13.79 in Evelyn’s World Cup debut.
The World Cup continues on Sunday with the women’s and four-man bobsleigh races.
Two-Man Bobsleigh Results: https://www.ibsf.org/en/component/events/event/501281