The racing was in Winterberg (GER) and the home team was ready.
German sleds didn’t just win both of the four-man sled races, they swept them. Drivers Nico Walther, Francesco Friedrich and Johannes Lochner won Saturday’s race and Fredroich, Lochner and Walther went 1-2-3 on Sunday. Latvia’s Oskars Kibermanis was fourth in both.
In the women’s race, the German entries were 1-2-4, with Stephanie Schneider and Ann-Christin Strack winning, followed by last week’s winners, Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek. The U.S. sled piloted by Olympic silver medalist Elana Meyers Taylor – with Lake Kwaza , in her first World Cup race– was third. The spread from first to third? Just 0.08 seconds!
“I’m happy to be back on the podium,” Meyers Taylor said. “I had two solid drives today, and even though I want to win every race, I’m happy to be in the medals.”
Germans were also 1-2 in the women’s Skeleton, with Jacquelline Loelling defending her 2017 win in Winterberg, with Tina Hermann second, but Russia’s Alexander Tretiakov ( did win the men’s Skeleton race (with Germany’s Axel Jungk second).
It’s worth noting that in the four-man races, an all-women U.S. team competed, with Taylor at the helm. She, Tiffeny Parker, Jessica Davis and Nicole Brundgardt finished 18th (last) on the first day, and then Taylor, Kwaza, Lauren Gibbs and Parker were also 18th on Sunday.
“I love racing four-man and I love the team atmosphere of it,” Meyers Taylor said. “For the women on our team this weekend, almost everyone got to race which was a cool experience. Hopefully one day we’ll have that opportunity in the Olympics, but it starts with the women getting experience.
“I feel like doing four-man has made me a better driver,” Meyers Taylor said. “I don’t have a lot of trips in four-man, so the challenge of going back and forth from two-man to four-man makes you really have to understand the curves.” Summaries:
IBSF World Cup
Winterberg (GER) ~ 14-16 December 2018
(Full results here)
Men’s 4 I: 1. Germany (Nico Walther), 1:48.61; 2. Germany (Francesco Friedrich), 1:48.68; 3. Germany (Johannes Lochner), 1:48.83; 4. Latvia (Oskars Kibermanis), 1:49.00; 5. Russia (Maxim Andrianov), 1:49.03. Also: 15. United States (Justin Olsen), 1:50.05; … 18. United States (Elana Meyers Taylor), 1:52.51.
Men’s 4 II: 1. Germany (Francesco Friedrich), 1:48.57; 2. Germany (Johannes Lochner), 1:48.93; 3. Germany (Nico Walther), 1:49.03; 4. Latvia (Oskars Kibermanis), 1:49.13; 5. Austria (Benjamin Maier), 1:49.22. Also: 14. United States (Justin Olsen), 1:50.19; … 18. United States (Elana Meyers Taylor), 1:53.16.
Women’s 2: 1. Stephanie Schneider/Ann-Christin Strack (GER), 1:53.57; 2. Mariama Jamanka/Annika Drazek (GER), 1:53.64; 3. Elana Meyers Taylor/Lake Kwaza (USA), 1:53.65; 4. Anna Koehler/Leonie Fiebig (GER), 1:54.37; 5. Nadezhda Sergeeva/Yulia Belomestnykh (RUS), 1:54.49. Also: 11. Brittany Reinbolt/Lauren Gibbs (USA), 1:55.16.
Men’s Skeleton: 1. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS), 1:52.07; 2. Axel Jungk (GER), 1:52.90; 3. Sung-Bin Yun (KOR), 1:52.91; 4. Nikita Tregubov (RUS), 1:52.95; 5. Tomass Dukurs (LAT), 1:53.13. Also: 13. Kyle Brown (USA), 1:54.58; … 16. Greg West (USA), 1:54.68; … 19. Austin Florian (USA), 1:54.95.
Women’s Skeleton: 1. Jacqueline Loelling (GER), 1:55.16; 2. Tina Hermann (GER), 1:55.83; 3. Janine Flock (AUT), 1:55.86; 4. Elena Nikitina (RUS), 1:55.87; 5. Mirela Rahneva (CAN), 1:56.13. Also: 15. Kendall Wesenberg (USA), 1:57.02; … 19. Savannah Graybill (USA), 1:57.40.