Francesco Friedrich secures early victory in the overall World Cup
Sigulda (RWH) The penultimate race in the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup season ended with an inaugural World Cup victory in the 2-man bobsleigh for local hero Oskars Kibermanis. Racing in front of a home crowd in what was an extremely tight race, Kibermanis and his brakeman Matiss Miknis finished atop the podium for the first time in the World Cup.
Second place in Sigulda went to the Olympic and World Champion Francesco Friedrich with Martin Grothkopp (GER, 0.07 seconds back) ahead of the Canadian duo of Justin Kripps/Ben Coakwell (0.33 seconds back).
With this result, Francesco Friedrich secured an early victory in the overall standings for the 2019/2020 BMW IBSF World Cup. Ahead of the final in Sigulda on Sunday, the defending title holder now has a 264-point lead over second-place Justin Kripps (CAN). Because a win is worth 225 points, Kripps is now unable to overtake the German in the overall World Cup standings. The final BMW IBSF World Cup race of the season will also count as the European Championships. Third overall in World Cup currently is Oskars Kibermanis with a total of 1253 points and 13 points behind rank two.
The Junior European Champion Rostislav Gaitiukevich (RUS) and his brakeman Roman Koshelev finished the pilot’s first 2-man bobsleigh World Cup race in fourth place and just 0.03 seconds off the medals.
Oskars Kibermanis (LAT, second in the overall standings for the 2019 World Cup)
“It feels totally unreal; my first World Cup victory in the 2-man bobsleigh. I am even more motivated now. Of course, the big race is on Sunday with the European Championships. We want to get off to an even better start and perform even better.”
Francesco Friedrich (GER, overall winner of the 2020 World Cup, 2018 Olympic Champion, five-time World Champion)
“The end of the second run was not very clean. Kibermanis just knows the track better and he deserved the win. The fact that the result today was enough for the overall victory is perfect.”
Justin Kripps (CAN, 2018 Olympic Champion, overall winner of the 2018 World Cup)
“That was a wild race. Sigulda is a tricky track and it was really exciting. It's a great warm-up for the World Championships in Altenberg, as the track there is technically challenging, too.”