Friday , December 4 2020

Latvian bobsledders are outside the top four after the first race in Sigulda

Oscars Beribermanis
Oscars Beribermanis Photo:

Latvian bobsled drivers Ralphs Berzins and Oscars Beribermanis are fifth and seventh, respectively, after the first race of the second race of the World Cup season in Sigulda, but two under Emils Chipulis are in 12th place.

The leader after the first race is the German Francesco Friedrich, who together with Alexander Schiller broke the starting record (4.78 seconds), but finished after 49.61 seconds.

The crew led by German Johannes Loner was three hundredths slower, but the Swiss Michael Vogt was 0.36 seconds behind.

Berzins, who starts with Edgars Nemmy, loses to the leader by 0.41 seconds, and together with the German Christopher Huffer shares fifth place. The crew of beribermanis and Dāvis Spriņģis slowed down by another ten seconds, giving seventh place, but debutant Emils Kipoulis of Christy Lindenblatt was slower by 0.96, taking the penultimate place among 13 crews.

The second trip will start at 16:00. The competition is broadcast live on Latvian TV Channel 7.

As in the first stage on Saturday, 13 crews took part in the start on Sunday, three of them from Latvia.

It was already known that Davis Kaufmanis will start only in one of two stages. Mickey replaced Sprinchis in the beribermanis crew, but Bermins will be helped by Nemme, so pusher Arnis Berbrish will not start.

For Sipulis, this is his World Cup debut. Last season, he gained experience in European Cups, but did not excel.

Saturday’s winner Francesco Friedrich is also next, this time assisted by pusher Alexander Schiller. Silver medalist Johannes Loner will start with Eric Frank, and Swiss Simon Friedl will perform with Dominic Schlepfer.

Lawrence set a new track record in the first race in Sigulda on Saturday – 49.51 seconds.

Latvia and Germany are the only countries at these stages of the World Cup that have the right to start with three crews.

Footballers from the USA, Canada and Great Britain, as well as Russian and Austrian crews did not take part in the stages, as some athletes from these countries were found to have Covid-19 after arriving in Latvia.

Last season, Cybermanis won both stages of Sigulda. In the first stage, Friedrich created a tough competition for him, but in the next stage, the German did not start, winning second place for the Swiss Simon Friedl. Last year, when Sigulda debuted at the World Cup, Friedrich was undefeated in both stages.

In the 2019/2020 season, Beribermanis won second place in the overall standings, second only to Friedrich, but Berzins did not start in two stages and took 14th place. In the fourth place, the Latvians have the fourth and 17th positions, respectively, and in the combination – the third and 15th places. Shibermanis became European champion and won bronze in the planetary championship, but Berzins won second place in these matches.

As the head coach of the Latvian bobsleigh team Sandis Prusis stated in an interview with the LETA news agency this week, a total of five Latvian pilots will start at the Sigulda stage.

For this reason, Chipulis got a chance on Sunday, but Davis Kaufmanis proved himself on Saturday, winning tenth place in the sum of two races.

The debut of Olympic champion Oscars Melbars is planned for the second weekend with Gibermanis and Berzins on both days of the competition.

Since 2006, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation has been organizing the World Cup stages together, sharing five sets of medals in one stage – in the women’s and gentlemen’s skeleton, in the men’s and quadruple bobsleighs and in the doubles bobsled.

However, the Sigulda track is currently not suitable for competitions in ATVs in bobsleigh, so in Latvia at one stage are two competitions in doubles.

The second stage of the Skeleton and Bobsleigh World Cup for two will take place next weekend in Sigulda.

The next two stages will take place in Innsbruck, but one stage is planned in Winterberg after the new year. The stages will continue in St. Moritz and Koenigssee, but the end of the season is scheduled for mid-March on the Yanchin track, where the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing will take place. However, progress at this stage is still in question.

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