Road To The Olympic Games

Sliding

Justin Kripps stands atop 4-man bobsleigh podium in Lake Placid

Justin Kripps remained on the podium for a second consecutive week in Lake Placid, N.Y., winning a gold medal in Saturday's season-opening four-man bobsled World Cup race.

Kaillie Humphries remains golden, Canada's Christine De Bruin snags bronze

Justin Kripps led Canada to a World Cup victory in four-man bobsleigh on Saturday at Lake Placid, N.Y. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images File)

Justin Kripps remained on the podium for a second consecutive week in Lake Placid, N.Y., winning a gold medal in Saturday's season-opening four-man bobsled World Cup race.

Kripps, Ryan Sommer, Cameron Stones and Benjamin Coakwell finished two runs in one minute 49.50 seconds to beat Latvia's sled driven by Oskars Kibermanis (1:49.89) and Austria's Benjamin Maier (1:49.97).

On Dec. 8, Kripps and Stones collected bronze in the two-man event, one day after Coakwell and Kripps battled their way onto the podium in third, after a shaky first run left them in fifth spot.

"We managed to win a close one here last year. This time we were in a new sled and really wanted to lay some good runs down. We did that and it validates the work we've been doing," said the 32-year-old Kripps, who is the reigning Olympic champion in the two-man event.

WATCH | Justin Kripps pilots Canada to 4-man gold:

The Canadian quartet raced to a combined time of 1:49.50 to claim the gold medal at the IBSF World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y. 3:23

It was Kripps' sixth career four-man medal on the World Cup. His fourth on the punishing 1,680-metre beast of a track that winds down Mount Van Hoevenberg which is situated in Northeastern New York's Adirondacks.

"I just love the intensity here. It doesn't get any better than Lake Placid. It is intimidating for some. It is fast, and it makes you show how you can drive. It is what bobsleigh is all about," added Kripps, who also has a world championship bronze medal in the four-man discipline on his resume.

Francesco Friedrich was fourth on Saturday, only the second time in the past 17 World Cup four-man races that Germany failed to reach the medal podium — the other occurring last year, also at Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid.

A second four-man race is scheduled for Sunday in Lake Placid after last weekend's opening event of the season saw two two-man races but no four-man competitions.

Humpries continues dominant start, Canadians earn bronze

Kaillie Humphries' first two races for the U.S. could not have turned out better.

Humphries improved to two-for-two on the young season, winning another women's bobsled World Cup race at Mount Van Hoevenberg on Saturday. The former top Canadian driver who joined the U.S. program earlier this year teamed with Lauren Gibbs to finish two runs in one minute, 54.03 seconds.

WATCH | Kaillie Humphries extends winning start:

Kaillie Humphries and Lauren Gibbs of the United States finish 1st in World Cup 2-woman bobsleigh. 3:01

It was Humphries' first time winning back-to-back golds since January 2016, and the first time any women's driver has opened a season with two straight wins since Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S. prevailed in the first three events of the 2014-15 season.

Germany's Kim Kalicki drove to the silver medal in 1:54.18, or 0.15 seconds behind Humphries.

Canada got the bronze, with Christine De Bruin getting her sled across the line in 1:54.25. Brittany Reinbolt was the next-best U.S. finisher after Humphries, teaming with Sylvia Hoffman to place eighth in 1:55.28.

WATCH | Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski place 3rd in Lake Placid: 

Canada's Christine de Bruin and Kristen Bujnowski place 3rd in Lake Placid. 1:53

The Canadians were fourth after the opening blast down the track but jumped onto the podium after putting down the fastest time in the second run at 57.52.

"I always try really hard to just be happy and I feel I drive better when I'm happy, but today after that first run I just got angry. I said 'We are going for this. We have to be on the podium and I'm not going to be happy with anything less," said de Bruin.

"I knew we could do it."

Broadcast Partners

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.