Photo: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis
Two 4-man Bobsleigh races at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg

Winterberg (RWH) Winter sports fans will be able to savour two helpings of the elite bobsleigh class at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg. The World Cup opener in Sigulda (LAT) featured two races in the 2-man event, while Winterberg will host one World Cup race in 4-man Bobsleigh on Saturday and another on Sunday.

20 4-man bobsleighs have already been registered, including the teams of Olympic Champion Francesco Friedrich (GER) and the silver medallists from PyeongChang, Nico Walther (GER) and Yunjong Won (KOR). The USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor is also planning her start as a pilot in the 4-man event.

Fans at the Winterberg ice arena will be able to watch athletes from 20 nations in action in all disciplines. ©RWH2018

4-man World Champion Johannes Lochner with World Cup debut in Winterberg
Substitute Christoph Hafer wins medal at first World Cup in Sigulda

Winterberg (RWH) 4-man Bobsleigh World Champion Johannes Lochner (GER) will get his season underway at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg. Lochner, who won World Championship gold in the 4-man Bobsleigh with Francesco Friedrich’s team at Königssee in 2017, started his season in the European Cup as he had still not returned to fitness following a hip injury. He celebrated one victory and one second place in the 2-man Bobsleigh in Altenberg.

Christoph Hafer, the third German pilot at the World Cup opener in Sigulda (LAT), celebrated a successful debut. With brakeman Issam Ammour, the 20-year-old European Junior Champion finished seventh on his World Cup debut, setting the same time as local heroes Ralfs Berzins/Davis Springis (LAT). Hafer secured a surprise podium position by taking third in the second 2-man Bobsleigh World Cup in Sigulda with brakeman Tobias Schneider. ©RWH2018 

Jamanka, Nikitina, Tregubov and Friedrich first World Cup winners of this winter

Winterberg/Sigulda (RWH) The Olympic Champions Mariama Jamanka (2-woman Bobsleigh) and Francesco Friedrich (2-man Bobsleigh, both GER), the Olympic silver medallist Nikita Tregubov (RUS, Men’s Skeleton) and European Champion Elena Nikitina (RUS, Women’s Skeleton) became the first winners of the BMW IBSF World Cup 2018/2019.

Jamanka and Tregubov celebrated the first World Cup victories of their careers at the season opener in Sigulda (LAT). It was win number four for Elena Nikitina in the Women’s Skeleton. World Champion Francesco Friedrich now has 17 victories in the 2-man Bobsleigh at the BMW IBSF World Cup.

Athletes from six nations made it onto the podium in Sigulda (AUT, CAN, GER, KOR, LAT, RUS). The top six featured athletes and teams from nine nations. ©RWH2018

Olympic champion Anja Schneiderheinze with jury debut at IBSF Europe Cup

Altenberg (RWH) The former bobsleigh pilot Anja Schneiderheinze (GER), Olympic champion 2006 with pilot Sandra Kiriasis, was on the racing jury for the first time at the kick-off event to IBSF Europe Cup Bobsleigh 2018/2019. Together with Manfred Schulte (GER) and Helmut Zwerger (AUT), she provided the smooth running of the first four races of the season in Altenberg (GER) with a total of 52 bobsleigh teams from 15 nations.

"The debut of Anja Schneiderheinze was very positive and we hope for further jury assignments of our Olympic and World Champion," said the Europe Cup Coordinator of the IBSF Peter Hell. "Through her experience in and knowledge of the sport she contributes to the quality of the jury. We hope that other former athletes will follow.“

Also for the final of the Europe Cup in Sigulda (LAT, 25 + 26 January 2019) with the Junior European Championships in 2-woman and 2-man Bobsleigh, Anja Schneiderheinze joins the IBSF jury. According to a press release of the Winterberg organising committee, she also plans a visit at the BMW IBSF World Cup.

Anja Schneiderheinze, a former speed skater, started bobsledding in 2001. As a push athlete with Sandra Kiriasis she also won the World Championships title in 2005 and four times the overall World Cup. After changing to the pilot seat and making the World Cup debut as a pilot in 2011, Anja Schneiderheinze finished second overall in the 2012 World Cup, clinched European Championship gold in 2015 and 2016 and also won the 2016 IBSF World Championship title in Innsbruck with Annika Drazek. ©RWH2018

Bobsleigh pilot Elfje Willemsen to drive her last race in Winterberg

Winterberg (RWH) The Belgian bobsleigh pilot Elfje Willemsen is set to make her last World Cup start in Winterberg, Germany, bringing her eleven-year career to a close. The 33-year-old announced her retirement on social media.

Elfje Willemsen has been a bobsleigh racer since 2007 when she emerged as the winner of a casting organised by the Belgian Federation. The former javelin thrower took part in the Winter Olympics in 2010, 2014 and 2018. She finished sixth in Sochi in 2014. Willemsen has secured several podium finishes in the BMW IBSF World Cup, finished fourth overall in 2015 and 2016, and clinched European Championship silver in 2016.

She will remain involved in bobsleigh after her retirement from competitive action. Since the start of the season she has been looking after the bobsleigh development programme for small and emerging IBSF Nations which do not have their own track, and with no athletes in the top 25 to 35 positions in the IBSF discipline rankings. ©RWH2018

The last Winterberg World Cup winners in December 2017
Last WCup Winterberg

World Cup Schedule – Winterberg
schedule Winterberg 1819

On the sidelines

Joska le Conté (NED) has been the skeleton coach on the development programme of the International Bob & Skeleton Federation IBSF since the start of the season. The Dutchwoman was a skeleton athlete for 12 years. The 31-year-old competed in her first European Cup in 2006, while her first race in the BMW IBSF World Cup came in November 2008. Le Conté finished sixth at the European Championships in 2016. As a development coach, she now looks after young athletes from small and emerging IBSF Nations which do not have their own track, and with no athletes in the top 25 to 35 positions in the IBSF discipline rankings. The participants in the programme must be under 24 years of age and have to take part in additional IBSF events such as anti-doping courses, material workshops, and start training. ©RWH2018

Erline Nolte (GER) is set to miss the 2018/2019 winter season due to injury. The brakewoman confirmed this to the Westfalenpost newspaper in Winterberg. In June the 29-year-old, who finished 13th in PyeongChang with pilot Anna Köhler, had to undergo surgery on her foot. However, her recovery did not go as planned. “Unfortunately I put too much strain on my foot early on, as an MRI scan has now shown. I just wanted to be fit again really quickly”, Nolte said in the newspaper interview. ©RWH2018

Thorsten Margis (GER), Olympic Champion in the 2-man and 4-man Bobsleigh with pilot Francesco Friedrich, plans his first start of the season at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, Germany. The 29-year-old, who intends to devote more time to studying mechanical engineering this winter, missed the season opener in Sigulda. His regular pilot and World Champion Francesco Friedrich had good support from Junior World Champion Alexander Schüller in Sigulda – taking victory with a new start and track record. Friedrich also won the second race in Sigulda, this time with Martin Grothkopp as brakeman. ©RWH2018

Season Winners 2018/2019 – Skeleton
Saisonsieger Skeleton WB

Season Winners 2018/2019 – Bobsleigh
Saisonsieger Bob WB

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