Photo: Getty Images
Rico Peter finishes second in Innsbruck ahead of Steven Holcomb

Innsbruck (RWH): Bobsleigh pilot Oskars Melbardis of Latvia has secured victory in the four-man bobsleigh at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck-Igls (AUT). With his brake crew Daumants Dreiskens/Arvis Vilkaste/Janis Strenga, the 2016 World Champion achieved a 0.05-second lead over Rico Peter/Simon Friedli/Alex Baumann/Thomas Amrhein (SUI) at the end of the two heats in the four-man bobsleigh event. This gave Oskars Melbardis his first victory in the four-man bobsleigh World Cup since February 2015.

The 2010 Olympic Champion Steven Holcomb of the USA (0.06 seconds back) and his brake team Carlo Valdes/James Reed/Sam McGuffie finished third in Innsbruck, trailing the Swiss team by just one hundredths of a second.

In tenth place, Rudy Rinaldi/Boris Vain/Thibault Demarthon/Steven Borges Mendonaca of Monaco finished in the top ten for the first time.

Clemens Bracher of Switzerland, who was the overall silver medallist in the two-man bobsleigh at the 2016/2017 IBSF European Cup, finished twelfth on his World Cup début in the four-man event with Alain Knuser, Marco Doerig and Michael Kuonen.

For the first time ever, the BMW IBSF World Cup saw three female-only teams step up to the starting line in Innsbruck: Kaillie Humphries/Melissa Lotholz/Cynthia Appiah/Kasha Lee (CAN), Alysia Rissling/Alecia Beckford-Stewart/Genevieve Thibault/Sara Dagenais-Everell (CAN) and Maria Constantin/Olivia Vild/Erika Halai/Andreea Grecu (ROU) finished in 29th, 30th and 31st place respectively.

Ahead of the World Cup final and Olympic trials in PyeongChang (KOR) in March (which will follow on from the BMW IBSF World Championships), Alexander Kasjanov (RUS, 1275) continues to lead the overall standings after finishing ninth in Innsbruck; however, Rico Peter (SUI, 1261) now trails by only 14 points. Steven Holcomb (USA, 1218) is third overall after the seventh of eight races. ©RWH2017

Photo: Getty Images

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