Nico Walther second in Winterberg ahead of Oskars Kibermanis
Winterberg (RWH): Francesco Friedrich (GER) has won the 4-man bobsleigh race at the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg. Racing with Candy Bauer, Martin Grothkopp and Thorsten Margis, the current Olympic and World Champion celebrated his first victory of the season.
Starting right at the bottom and right at the back, Nico Walter (GER) almost managed to climb his way right back to the top. The silver medallist from the Olympics and World Championships was forced to sit out the start of the season due to injury and only just secured his place on the World Cup team in a selection race a couple of days before the event. Walther and his crew of Paul Krenz, Joshua Bluhm and Eric Franke were therefore the last team to start in Winterberg – but managed to climb up to second, 0.20 seconds behind Friedrich and his squad.
Third place went to Oskars Kibermanis (LAT, 0.40 seconds back) with Lauris Kaufmanis, Arvis Vilkaste and Matiss Miknis. The Latvians managed to push current European Champion Johannes Lochner with Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp (GER) back into fourth place by just one hundredth of a second.
Justin Kripps (CAN) defended his lead in the overall standings for the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup. After two victories in the opening races and a fifth-place finish in Winterberg, the Canadian currently has 634 points. The defending World Cup title holder Francesco Friedrich (GER, 617 points) is second overall ahead of Oskars Kibermanis (LAT, 602).
Winterberg is scheduled to host a second 4-man bobsleigh race on 4 January (starting at 1:40 p.m. CET). The fourth World Cup event of the season, this race will also count as the European Championships for European athletes.