Nico Walther finishes second while Alexey Stulnev secures his first podium finish in third place
Königssee (RWH): The European Champion Johannes Lochner of Germany has won the four-man bobsleigh at the World Cup in Königssee. At the sixth of eight races in the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF World Cup season, the 2016 Junior World Champion secured his third win of the pre-Olympic season after taking the top spot in Altenberg and Winterberg. Second place in Königssee went to pilot Nico Walther and his crew of Kevin Kuske, Kevin Korona and Eric Franke (GER, 0.25 seconds back). Alexey Stulnev of Russia and his team of Ilvir Huzin/Maxim Belugin/Roman Koshelev finished in third (0.32 seconds back) to secure their first visit to the podium in the BMW IBSF World Cup.
During their first run in Königssee, Johannes Lochner/Matthias Kagerhuber/Joshua Bluhm/Christian Rasp took two tenths of a second off the four-man bobsleigh track record set almost six years ago by Manuel Machata (GER) for his World Championship victory in February 2011. The time to beat is now 48.45 seconds.
At his first appearance as a pilot in the four-man bobsleigh World Cup, Bradley Hall of the United Kingdom finished twelfth in Königssee with his crew, Joel Fearon, Ben Simons and Gregory Cackett.
With two races left to go this season, Alexander Kasjanov of Russia (1123 points) continues to lead the overall standings in the 2016/2017 BMW IBSF World Cup, after finishing sixth in Königssee. Following his third win of the season, Johannes Lochner (GER, 1067) moved up the table and into second place. Swiss pilot Rico Peter (1051), who finished in eleventh in Königssee, is third overall. ©RWH2017
Johannes Lochner (GER, 2017 European Champion, 2016 Junior World Champion)
“Unbelievable! My first season in the World Cup and the best season of my life. Our starting times were not great; I’m still not 100% fit. We’ll do even better at the World Championships in three weeks’ time.”
Nico Walther (GER, runner-up in the 2015 World Championships, second in the 2017 European Championships)
“The guys did a great job at the start. We could have been a little quicker on the track but we are definitely moving in the right direction. I knew it would be a tough season. Our goal is to win a medal at the World Championships.
Alexey Stulnev (RUS, eleventh in the 2015 World Championships, fifth in the 2017 European Championships)
“Everything went well today. The start, our load into the sled and the runs were good as well. I'm really happy to get my first place on the podium. It was a good test for the World Championships.”
Photo: Getty Images