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U.S. bobsledders win

November 22, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

IGLS, Austria - The USA-1 four-man bobsled "Night Train" team is back up to full steam. Steven Holcomb of Park City, Utah and sledmates Steve Langton of Melrose, Mass., Justin Olsen of San Antonio, Texas and Curt Tomasevicz of Shelby, Neb., claimed gold in the Igls Europa Cup finale Sunday.

"That felt great," Holcomb said. "We got the jitters for being back in four-man out of the way yesterday and had two great runs today. After winning three silver medals, it was about time we won. It definitely feels good."

Langton, Olsen and Tomasevicz once again powered the BMW sled off the block with the fastest start times of the competition, 5.04 and 5.00 seconds, to give Holcomb a head start down the course.

"We had two great pushes," Holcomb said. "We are getting faster on the second push, and we used to slow down in past seasons. These guys are ready to go and feeling good."

The crew was 0.02 seconds off the pace after the first run, but made up 0.13 seconds in the final heat by dominating from start to finish to claim gold with a two-run total of 1:43.44.

German Francesco Friedrich, who nabbed both gold medals in the two-man events, claimed silver with his crew of Gino Gerhardi, Jannis Baecker and Florian Kunze. Latvian Edgar Maskalans led his crew of Daum Dreiskens, Raivis Broks and Intars Dambis to a bronze medal finish with a two-run total of 1:43.60.

"These were good competitions," Holcomb said. "It's hard to say what to expect next week, but we're on a roll now."

John Napier of Lake Placid teamed with Jesse Beckom Chicago, Ill., Johnny Quinn of McKinney, Texas and Chris Fogt of Alpine, Utah, to finish ninth in the National Guard sled with a combined time of 1:44.29.

The next stop is Koenigssee, Germany for the second Europa Cup event of the season. The U.S. squad will then return to Igls for the start of World Cup tour on Nov. 28th.

"It's nice that we've had the opportunity to get on different tracks before we hop into the World Cup season," Holcomb said. "We spent the month of October in Lake Placid, so getting some time on other tracks helps finely tune your skills after a long off season."



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