Huge weekend for sliders 

Bobsleigh/skeleton athletes win four in Whistler; luge athletes net two podiums in Austria

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ANDREW MITCHELL - PODIUM RUSH Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown placed second in the men's two-man bobsleigh on Friday. In total, the national team won four medals at home.
  • Photo BY andrew Mitchell
  • PODIUM RUSH Lyndon Rush and Lascelles Brown placed second in the men's two-man bobsleigh on Friday. In total, the national team won four medals at home.

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The Canada 2 sled with pilot Jennifer Ciochetti and brakewoman Kate O'Brien were 12th

Chris Spring wins first World Cup bobsleigh medal

Driver Chris Spring laid down the best run of his career in the four-man bobsleigh on Saturday morning to take the bronze medal, bringing Canada's medal total for the weekend to four.

He knew his team was doing well, but wasn't expecting to be on the podium the next day in four-man.

"Waking up this morning I didn't want to expect anything or come in to today thinking we were going to do something amazing," he said. "I'm confident in my crew and myself, and I knew that if we raced well we'd have a good result."

The team — which includes Timothy Randall, Adam Rosenke and Ben Coakwell — were sitting fourth after the first run. While their second run was good with a faster start and first split, they owe their podium to the USA 1 team piloted by Steven Holcomb, who slipped from third to fourth after posting the eighth-fastest second run of the day. It was enough to put Spring and team in third by just six one-hundredths of a second.

The win went to the Russia 1 team, piloted by Alexander Zubkov, which has won every four-man race this year. The Russia 2 team piloted by Alexander Kasjanov picked up the silver medal as well — a testament to Russia's drive to be on top at home during the 2014 Winter Olympics, as well as the coaching of Canada's Pierre Lueders, who was hired by Russia to train its athletes.

Canadian pilot Lyndon Rush, racing with Lascelles Brown, Jesse Lumsden and Neville Wright, placed eighth on the day while Justin Kripps with Jean-Nicolas Carriere, Luke Demetre and Cody Sorensen were 13th.

Eric Neilson leads skeleton team

Home ice didn't have the affect that the men's skeleton team had hoped on Saturday afternoon, but the day had its highlights all the same.

Eric Neilson finished fifth overall, tying his best result to date in World Cup competition. Teammate John Fairbairn was a solid eighth, while Olympic champion Jon Montgomery continues to struggle after taking last season off to train and work on his sled. Montgomery placed 12th, clearly unhappy with his run.

Montgomery, who has been playing with different sled designs but decided to race on the same sled he won the Olympics on. He felt like he was fast with starts that were among the fastest of the day, and was at a loss why his time wasn't better.

He said he would try to learn from the race. "There's not a lot that's positive to be had from today, but when I get home I'll watch the video and try to reflect on it and try to make the positives out of it," he said.


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