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Altenberg bobtrack, RWH


All defending World Cup titleholders and four of five World Champions in line-up

Altenberg (RWH)  The athletes belonging to the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation IBSF will commence the 2015/2016 World Cup season on the bobsleigh track in Altenberg in Germany’s Erzgebirge mountain range.

Experienced athletes, the defending World Cup titleholders in all disciplines and four of the five World Champions are in the Altenberg line-up, as well as new faces will be on the track for the opening races in the BMW IBSF World Cup Bob + Skeleton Tour.A mix like this always makes for an interesting race, particularly at the start of a new season.

With Olympic and World Champion Lizzy Yarnold from Great Britain absent from the scene on a year-long break from the sport, the favourites in the women’s skeleton include defending World Cup titleholder Janine Flock of Austria and last year’s Altenberg winner Maria Orlova of Russia.The fans at the track will be particularly eager to watch the home team from Germany in action.Tina Hermann, who came overall third in the World Cup, and tenth-placed Olympian Sophia Griebel are joined by World Championship runner-up Jacqueline Lölling, whose unexpected result means she could well be good for a surprise at her World Cup debut in Altenberg.The German team in the men’s skeleton comprises team World Champion Axel Jungk, 2013 and 2015 Junior World Champion Christopher Grotheer, and newcomer Michael Zachrau, who has only competed in one World Cup race to date.The question of the moment in this discipline is whether anyone will be able to stop World Champion and defending World Cup titleholder Martins Dukurs of Latvia from taking his seventh victory in succession.Like in the years before, Olympic Champion Alexander Tretyakov of Russia will be one of his major challengers.

All of the top bobsleigh athletes will be racing in Altenberg.World Champion and defending World Cup titleholder Elana Meyers Taylor of the USA will be there, as will two-times Olympic Champion and World Champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada, and World Championship runner-up Anja Schneiderheinze of Germany.The bobsleigh men include defending World Cup titleholder (two-man and four-man) Oskars Melbardis of Latvia, World Champions Francesco Friedrich (two-man) and Maximilian Arndt (four-man), both from Germany, Switzerland’s Beat Hefti, who came second in the two-man event at the 2014 Olympics, and Rico Peter, who came second in the two-man event in the 2014 European Championships, and 2010 Olympic Champion in the four-seater, Steven Holcomb of the USA.

The Altenberg organisers have announced that they expect almost 200 athletes (47 in the skeleton, 150 in the bobsleigh disciplines) from 18 nations to compete this weekend.

Opened officially 28 years ago, the ice track in Altenberg is the youngest of Germany's four tracks.It hosted a record 20,000 spectators for the first two-man and four-man bobsleigh races there, which were fought out by 17 nations in the AERO Cup, in what was then the GDR.

The start and finish areas of the 1413-metre long ice track were refurbished in 2007, and today the track wends its way over 18 bends through the Erzgebirge mountain range in Saxony. It has been the scene of many IBSF World and European Championships in the course of its history:the men fought for World Championships medals here in the two and four-man bobsleigh in 1991 and 2000, and in the skeleton in 1994 and 1999. In the joint bobsleigh and skeleton World Championships in 2008, six titles were up for grabs (women’s and men’s skeleton, women’s bobsleigh, two-man and four-man bobsleigh and the team competition).The European Championships were held in Altenberg in 1995 (men’s two-man and four-man bobsleigh), 2004 (men’s and women’s skeleton), and 2005 and 2012 (joint bobsleigh and skeleton championships). ©RWH2015-2016





Keep up to date with bobsleigh and skeleton news on Facebook, Twitter and co.

Altenberg (RWH)  As in the past, the latest news, detailed start lists, race results and a wealth of information about the BMW IBSF Bob + Skeleton World Cup will be available this season on a variety of social media channels.

The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation IBSF has its own site on Facebook, and all news is posted straight to the profile pages of the over 2,000 members of the IBSF Facebook Group and also sent to Twitter followers (@fibt), of which there are almost 2,500.

A live ticker for all World Cup races, as well as results lists showing all race times and overall times and the latest World Cup standings can also be found at ibsf.org.Many countries throughout the world will be showing TV coverage of the BMW IBSF World Cup races,and in addition ibsf.org and the IBSF YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/bobskeletv will be showing all races live with commentary by Martin Haven. The live stream will be available in almost every country in the world.©RWH2015-2016





Skinfit new IBSF outfitter

Altenberg (RWH)  The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation starts the 2015/2016 season with a new outfitter, Skinfit, an Austrian manufacturer of high-quality functional sportswear.Skinfit International GmbH is active in the international arena, and boasts shops in Austria, Germany and ten other countries.It states that its sportswear is designed and developed in Austria, is highly functional, and is classic and timeless in design.©RWH2015-2016





The Altenberg timetable

Date/time CET

Race

Friday, 27 November,

2.15 pm

4.00 pm

Women’s skeleton, Run 1

Women’s skeleton, Run 2

Friday, 27 November,

5.30 pm

6.55 pm

Women’s bobsleigh, Run 1

Women’s bobsleigh, Run 2

Saturday, 28 November,

9.30 am

11.00 am

Men’s skeleton, Run 1

Men’s skeleton, Run 2

Saturday, 28 November,

1.30 pm

3.00 pm

Two-man bobsleigh, Run 1

Two-man bobsleigh, Run 2

Sunday, 29 November,

9.30 am

11.00 am

Four-man bobsleigh, Run 1

Four-man bobsleigh, Run 2




On the sidelines

Ander Mirambell (ESP) comes to the opening BMW IBSF World Cup in Altenberg as the leader in the North American Cup rankings.The 32-year-old skeleton pilot won both of the first two races of the season in the IBSF North American Cup in Calgary (CAN) mid-November, celebrating his first ever victories in the discipline.“This was way the best start in my eleven years in this sport, despite my injuries”, said Ander Mirambell in his blog.“For the first time in my life I’m at the top of the overall rankings for a few days.I don’t think I can ask more than that.It’s historic.” Mirambell’s other podium appearances were also in the North American Cup:in March 2012 he was second and third in the last two races of the series in Lake Placid.Fans will be interested to hear that Spain has a long history in the IBSF disciplines.The Spanish winter sports association Federación Española de Deportes de Hielo first attended a Conference of the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation (then the Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Toboganning, FIBT) in 1955.At the bobsleigh World Championships in St Moritz in 1957, Marques Alfonso de Portago and Luiz Nunoz took bronze for Spain in the two-seater.@RWH2015-2016



Lizzy Yarnold (GBR) is taking a year’s break from the competition arena,but the Olympic and World Champion has already announced that she’ll be back next winter.Her aim is to be the first female skeleton pilot to defend Olympic gold when she competes in PyeongChang in 2018.Last winter, the 26-year-old athlete wrote sports history by collecting Olympic gold, the overall World Cup title, and gold in the European and World Championships, all within just 407 days.@RWH2015-2016



Mark Lewis-Francis (GBR), who won Olympic gold in Athens in 2004 and European gold in 2006 with the British 4x100m relay team, has joined the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA).According to a report on bbc.com, the 33-year-old athlete intends to concentrate wholly on the bobsleigh, but is hoping that the sport will also help him to improve his sprinting abilities.“My problem has always been my start and hopefully bobsleigh can help me improve thatbecause I’d love to make the Rio 2016 team.” At the opening of the BMW IBSF World Cup in Altenberg, Mark Lewis-Francis will be on the British brakeman squad.His sights continue to be set on the Olympics:“We’ve got a strong team already: they’ve come fifth at the last two World Championships and the Olympicsso if I can slot in there somewhere and help them gain two or three places, it’s job done.” @RWH2015-2016


The last World Cup winners in Altenberg – January 2015




1.



2.



3.



Women’s
skeleton


Maria ORLOVA

RUS

Elizabeth YARNOLD

GBR

Elena NIKITINA

RUS

Men’s
skeleton


Martins DUKURS

LAT

Tomass DUKURS

LAT

Alexander TRETYAKOV

RUS

Women’s
bobsleigh


Elana MEYERS TAYLOR
Cherrelle GARRETT


USA

Elfje WILLEMSEN
Annelies HOLTHOF


BEL

Kaillie HUMPHRIES
Melissa LOTHOLZ


CAN

Two-man
bobsleigh


Beat HEFTI
Alex BAUMANN


SUI

Oskars MELBARDIS Daumants DREISKENS

LAT

Nico WALTHER
Joshua BLUHM


GER

Four-man

bobsleigh

Nico WALTHER
Andreas BREDAU
Marco HÜBENBECKER
Christian POSER


GER

Oskars MELBARDIS
Daumants DREISKENS
Arvis VILKASTE
Janis STRENGA


LAT

Rico PETER
Bror VAN DER ZIJDE
Thomas AMRHEIN
Simon FRIEDLI


SUI


The overall winners of the 2014/2015 World Cup

Tabelle 2014 15 E


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