Kripps second in World Cup – Maier and Gaitiukevich with European Championship medals
Winterberg (RWH) Bobsleigh pilot Francesco Friedrich (GER) completed his title collection with European Championship gold in 4-man bobsleigh. At the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg (GER) the big sled was on the World Cup program for the first time this winter. The race also counted as a European Championship for the athletes from Europe.
Francesco Friedrich set a new start record (4.96 seconds) in Winterberg and with Thorsten Margis, Candy Bauer and Alexander Schueller as his pusher crew he also took the European Championship title in addition to the World Cup victory. After Olympic gold in 2018 and three World Championships titles (2017, 2019 and 2020), Friedrich has now won all major 4-man bobsleigh titles becoming the 2021 European Champion.
Second place in the BMW IBSF World Cup in Winterberg went to the team from Canada (0.57 seconds back) with Justin Kripps and his push athletes Ryan Sommer, Cam Stones and Benjamin Coakwell.
Third in the World Cup were Benjamin Maier/Sascha Stepan/Markus Sammer/Kristian Huber (AUT, 0,76 seconds back). With second place in the European Championship standings Benjamin Maier won his third medal in 4-man bobsleigh and silver for the second time after 2017.
European Championships bronze went to Junior World Champion Rostislav Gaitiukevich with Mikhail Mordasov, Ilya Malykh and Ruslan Samitov from Russia. Fourth place in the World Cup was by far the best result for the 26-year-old in only his third 4-man bobsleigh World Cup.
Defending European Champion Johannes Lochner (GER) finished fourth with Florian Bauer, Christopher Weber and Christian Rasp after winning four European titles in a row. The World Championships silver medallist finished fifth in the Winterberg World Cup.
For more detailed information including athlete profiles and World Cup results please visit ibsf.org. Photos for editorial use can be found at Flickr. ©RWH2021
Photos: IBSF / Viesturs Lacis