Penultimate BMW IBSF World Cup 2020/2021 to set course for overall victories
Flock, Dukurs, Beierl and Friedrich lead World Cup, Women's Monobob joins agenda
Königssee (RWH): This weekend (22–24 January), Königssee (GER) will host the penultimate BMW IBSF World Cup event of the 2020/2021 winter season. The seventh of the eight races this season is likely to give an early indication as to who will take the overall World Cup victories.
A number of up-and-coming stars of bobsleigh and skeleton will not make an appearance at Königssee. Following the World Cup event there in the previous week, European 2-woman bobsleigh champion Laura Nolte (GER) stayed in St. Moritz (SUI), where she will take part in the Junior World Championships. The same applies for a number of other names, including the defending title holder in the men’s skeleton, Felix Keisinger (GER), skeleton athlete Hannah Neise (GER), the athlete currently in third place overall in the 2-man bobsleigh World Cup, Michael Vogt of Switzerland and the 2020 U23 World Champion in the 2-man bobsleigh, Mihai Tentea (ROU).
In the run-up to the BMW IBSF World Cup in Königssee, Janine Flock remains in the lead in the women's skeleton. With three victories and three further spots on the podium in the previous six races, the Austrian has managed to secure a 90-point lead between herself and World Champion Tina Hermann in second place. Looking at the statistics, both Hermann and defending World Cup title holder Jacqueline Lölling (GER) in third place could make up some ground. The event in Königssee will be Janine Flock's tenth World Cup appearance here, though she has only made it onto the podium twice so far. Hermann and Lölling have made it onto the podium at every World Cup race in Königssee since 2015/2016 as well as at the 2017 World Championships, alternating between first and second place.
Looking ahead to the World Cup in the men's skeleton in Königssee, the outlook is equally rosy for the current leader, Martins Dukurs of Latvia. After four wins and two second-place finishes, the six-time World Champion has a 149-point lead – 18th place would be enough for him to be in a position to defend his World Cup lead. So, it doesn't look like there will be any changes at the top of the BMW IBSF World Cup standings– although Alexander Gassner from host team Germany in second place may have been given a boost in morale by his first victory in St. Moritz.
Looking to the 2-woman bobsleigh, Katrin Beierl (AUT) will be starting in Königssee at the top of the leaderboard. Back in 2019, this is where she achieved third place at the European Championships for the first time; this winter could see her adding to her two podium positions to date. However, the competition is tough: having previously been in the lead, Kim Kalicki of the German home team is back again, as is Olympic Champion Mariama Jamanka and the defending title holder, Stephanie Schneider. The US teams also have a history of success in Königssee. Between 2013 and 2020, World Champion Kaillie Humphries, then racing for Canada, and Elana Meyers Taylor celebrated three victories each. The Women's Monobob World Series will also return in Königssee.
Francesco Friedrich (GER) remains the hot favourite in the 2-man bobsleigh and 4-man bobsleigh. He currently holds the lead in the overall rankings for both events and could snatch his 50th World Cup victory in Königssee. Once again, the competition comes from within the same camp: Königssee is the home track of Johannes Lochner in second place. Plus: Francesco Friedrich “would rather race on 15 other tracks” than Königssee, as he declared in an interview following the World Cup in St. Moritz. Indeed, Friedrich has only managed his first World Cup win in the 4-man bobsleigh here last season. Benjamin Maier (AUT) and Justin Kripps (CAN) enjoy a better relationship with the backdrop for the seventh World Cup race: Both have made it onto the podium here several times in the past. ©RWH2021
Subject to changes – Up-to-date times (local time at the track and the user's local time) are listed on the IBSF website. ©RWH2020
On the sidelines
Nick Cunningham (USA) made his debut as coach of the US World Cup team at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg (GER). “I’ve stood on the starting line hundreds of times as an athlete but today was my first as a World Cup #coach,” wrote the former bobsleigh pilot on Twitter. “I’ve realized that while I absolutely love (and still miss) competing, my true passion is definitely coaching and helping athletes.” As an athlete, Nick Cunningham competed for the USA in the Winter Olympics in 2010, 2014 and 2018. He achieved his best result in Sochi in 2014, coming in tenth in the 4-man bobsleigh. The 35-year-old made it onto the podium six times at the BMW IBSF World Cup. ©RWH2021
Katie Tannenbaum (ISV), skeleton athlete from the US Virgin Isles, has been trying out a new discipline. During her training for the IBSF North American Cup in Park City, the 35-year-old, who has been competing internationally in skeleton since 2011 and since 2015 has appeared at 19 BMW IBSF World Cups, tried her hand at monobob for the first time. “I want to try it out for the first time this season at the North American Cup”, explained Katie Tannenbaum. “If I like it, the plan is to compete in both disciplines.” Katie Tannenbaum even decided to forego the BMW IBSF World Cup “on my favourite track in St. Moritz” in favour of her monobob experiment. However, she chose not to compete in the monobob race in Park City. “I noticed that I enjoy skeleton in a totally different way to monobob” she said after her training runs. “In a bobsleigh, I'm hurled this way and that, and my helmet hits the side.” Katie Tannenbaum will now compete in the skeleton races in the North American Cup in Park City and Lake Placid, and then make her way over to the BMW IBSF World Championships in Altenberg (GER) at the beginning of February. ©RWH2021
The three previous women's Youth Olympic Champions in skeleton competed in a World Cup together for the first time in St. Moritz (SUI): Jacqueline Lölling (GER), who came third in St. Moritz, took the title at the first Youth Winter Olympic Games (YOG) in 2012. Ashleigh Pittaway (GBR), who achieved twelfth place in St. Moritz, took YOG gold in 2016. And 17-year-old Anastasiia Tsyganova (RUS), the 2020 Youth Olympic Champion, surprised with her debut on the Olympia Bobrun track to finish in tenth place in the World Cup. ©RWH2021
This season's winners in the 2020/2021 BMW IBSF World Cup - Skeleton
This season's winners in the 2020/2021 BMW IBSF World Cup - Bobsleigh pilots
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