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Holcomb wins again, US sweeps 2-man

December 14, 2013

LAKE PLACID, New York (AP) — The U.S. bobsled team went nearly 13 years without sweeping all three medal spots in a World Cup.

It’s now happened twice in eight days.

With even the head of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation calling it “kind of surreal,” the Americans extended their ridiculous start to this Olympic season on Saturday, when Steven Holcomb added to his undefeated start by driving to yet another win and leading the first U.S. sweep of a World Cup 2-man race.

Holcomb and Chris Fogt finished two runs in 1 minute, 50.19 seconds at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Nick Cunningham and Johnny Quinn were second in 1:50.74, and Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley were third in 1:50.85 — capping off a sweep that came on the heels of the U.S. women winning a gold and tying for silver at a World Cup race in Park City, Utah last weekend.

“Sometimes, things just come together when they need to,” USBSF CEO Darrin Steele said. “It’s kind of surreal.”

Holcomb has won all six World Cup men’s bobsled races this season, four of them coming in 2-man. He extended his lead in the World Cup 2-man standings to 136 points over Cunningham.

But Holcomb was more impressed with the 1-2-3 U.S. finish than extending his own personal start in a race-time air temperature of minus-10 (-23 C).

“That’s huge,” Holcomb said. “These guys have been performing well all year. For them to finally put it together on the last day of 2-man, last day of the North American tour, I think that’s really going to help bring that motivation and confidence into Europe. It’s definitely going to be harder over there. We had to take advantage of our North American experience and capitalize on it here because trust me, it’s going to get a lot more difficult.”

U.S. bobsled coach Brian Shimer was even impressed.

“Not every nation even gets three sleds,” Shimer said. “To put all three of them on the podium is pretty special. I’ve seen it a lot of times in my career, but with the Swiss flag flying or with the German flag flying.”

Later, the U.S. women added to their medal haul for the season, taking silver and bronze.

Canada’s Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse laid down a track-record time of 56.63 seconds in the first heat to grab the lead, and they edged Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams of the U.S. by 0.12 seconds.

“To come out to any track and set a record, knowing no one’s gone faster than that, it cements that we’re where we need to be,” Humphries said.

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