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World Cup slides into Lake Placid

December 14, 2016
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The early portion of the bobsled and skeleton World Cup season will come to a chilly conclusion this weekend as the world's top sliders converge on Lake Placid for the second stop on this winter's BMW ISBF circuit.

Action kicks off on Friday morning with the men's skeleton race, with the men's and women's two-person bobsled events following later in the day. As of Wednesday, temperatures for the opening day of racing were predicted to only reach into the single digits. Saturday will be the second and final day of competition and features women's skeleton and four-person bobsledding.

All races are scheduled to be two-heat events.

Article Photos

Codie Bascue, a native of Whitehall, navigates his four-man sled through Curve 14 on Tuesday, Dec. 13 during training for this week's World Cup action at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.
News photo — Lou Reuter

This winter's World Cup tour began a week ago in Whistler, British Columbia, and the stop in Lake Placid will be followed by a holiday break with racing resuming in Altenberg, Germany in early January.

The big buzz surrounding the tour this week is that the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation announced late Tuesday that it will move the 2017 World Championships from Sochi, Russia, to another location. The competitions were originally slated to be held Feb. 13-26 at the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic events, but a decision was made to change venues as a result of the doping controversy swirling around Russia's athletics program.

A new location for the World Championships is expected to be announced in the upcoming days.

The Americans collected two medals last week in Whistler, with Matt Antonie taking the bronze in the men's skeleton and Jamie Greubel Poser piloting her way to a third-place result in women's bobsledding. Steve Holcomb, one of the most decorated drivers in United States bobsledding history, enters the men's two-man race as the defending World Cup champion in Lake Placid. He was fourth a week ago, missing the podium by a mere .03 of a second.

Annie O'Shea was the top U.S. slider in Whistler in women's skeleton after finishing tied for sixth, and comes to Lake Placid as the winner of the World Cup event here last season.

Savannah Graybill, of Pennsylvania, holds the track record and earned the bronze medal in the Lake Placid Intercontinental Cup last season. Graybill will once again be filling in for Katie Uhlaender.

A large continent of other U.S. athletes are also hoping that Lake Placid can provide them with a home ice edge as they take on an impressive field.

Kaillie Humphries of Canada is obviously one of the top contenders for the podium in women's bobsled this week. She is the two-time defending Olympic champion and kicked off her season a week ago with a victory on Whistler's steep track. In addition to driving in Friday's women's race, Humphries, along with American Elana Meyers Taylor, will also be piloting sleds in Saturday's four-man event.

Russia's Alexander Kasjonov hits the ice at Mount Van Hoevenberg after claiming the four-man World Cup title a week ago, and Germany's Francesco Friedrich arrives in Lake Placid as both the defending two-man bobsled World Champion and the winner in last week's two-man race in Whistler, where the 2010 Olympic sliding events took place.

Canada's Elisabeth Vathje will look for her second World Cup win in a row in women's skeleton after winning on home ice a week ago. Meanwhile, Korean Sungbin Yung will also look for his second straight World Cup win in men's skeleton.



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