Third place in Innsbruck gives local hero Benjamin Maier first ever two-man podium
Innsbruck (RWH) World champion Francesco Friedrich of Germany has won his fourth victory of the 2016/2017 season at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck-Igls (AUT). Pushed by brakeman Thorsten Margis, Friedrich set a new track record of 51.25 seconds in the first run, and ended the race with a 0.73 second lead on Lavtia’s duo of Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga. The second place gave Melbardis, who won the overall World Cup in 2015, his first podium of the season. Third place in Innsbruck went to local bobsledders Benjamin Maier and Markus Sammer (AUT, 0.80 seconds back), who celebrated their first ever two-man bobsleigh podium finish.
Justin Olsen of the USA and brakeman Evan Weinstock missed the World Cup podium by just two-hundredths of a second to come fourth, his best result by far in the two-man discipline.
Dominik Dvorak (CZE), who won the bronze medal in the 2017 Junior World Championships, came in the top ten for the first time in a World Cup race by coming sixth with Jakub Nosek (tying with Alexander Kasjanov/Alexey Pushkarev).
In the run-up to the final World Cup race and Olympic test in PyeongChang (KOR) in March, which takes place after the BMW IBSF World Championships, Francesco Friedrich (GER, 1320 points) has extended his lead in the overall BMW IBSF rankings and is now a good 100 points ahead of US athlete Steven Holcomb of the USA, who came tenth in Innsbruck and remains in second with 1219 points. Alexander Kasjanov of Russia is third with 1170 points. ©RWH2017
Photo: Getty Images