Photo: IBSF/Viesturs Lacis
Kripps second in World Cup, Bracher with European Championship silver ahead of Lochner

Innsbruck (RWH): With his first World Cup win of the season, bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich (GER) has successfully defended his European Championship title in the 2-man bobsleigh. At the BMW IBSF World Cup in Innsbruck (AUT), which also counted as the championship race for European athletes, Friedrich and his brakeman Thorsten Margis claimed the top stop for the first time this Olympic season.

Joining European Champion Friedrich on the World Cup podium was World Championship runner-up Justin Kripps/Jesse Lumsden (CAN, 0.27 seconds back), who finished second. Silver in the European Championships went to the Swiss pairing of Clemens Bracher/Michael Kuonen, who finished third in the World Cup race. At the previous stop on the tour in Winterberg, Bracher caused a sensation when he won gold on his World Cup début. The bronze medal at the European Championships in Innsbruck was awarded to Germany’s Johannes Lochner/Joshua Bluhm, who finished fourth in the World Cup race.

Following the fifth of eight races in the BMW IBSF World Cup 2017/2018, Justin Kripps (CAN, 1014 points) has defended his lead ahead of team mate Chris Spring (CAN, 963), who finished sixth in Innsbruck. By securing victory in Innsbruck, the new European Champion Francesco Friedrich (GER, 859) has made it into the top three in the World Cup standings for the first time this winter.

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Francesco Friedrich (GER, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 World Champion, 2015 European Champion)

“Yes, you could say that today has been a real relief. We knew that we had what it takes to win here. Innsbruck is our track and this is now our fourth win here in a row. I can’t really say anything about our sled at the moment. We need to look at all the times when things have calmed down.”

Justin Kripps (CAN, runner-up in the 2017 World Championships)

“Innsbruck is a good track for fast starters and good equipment. We really love racing here. Now, we’ve got a break coming up with a little bit of rest and a lot of training.”

Clemens Bracher (SUI, 2018 European Championship runner-up)

“We don’t have any pressure on us at the moment; maybe that’s the reason behind our success. And of course, I've got a great brakeman.”

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