BOBSLED & SKELETON Preview: World Cup season starts in Sigulda

American Olympic women's bobsled ace Elana Meyers Taylor (Photo: Dietmar Reker via Wikipedia)

The International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation’s World Cup is among the last to start on the winter circuit, but the first weekend of competition is readying in Latvia, where the famed track at Sigulda will be the site of three days of racing:

7 December: Women’s 2
8 December: Men’s 2 and Men’s Skeleton
9 December: Men’s 2 and Women’s Skeleton

As the season opens, the leaders from 2017-18 were (listed by driver):

Men’s 2:
1. 1,631 Justin Kripps (CAN)
2. 1,504 Francisco Friedrich (GER)
3. 1,347 Chris Spring (CAN)
4. 1,336 Oskars Kibermanis (LAT)
5. 1,250 Nico Walther (GER)

Women’s 2:
1. 1,631 Kaillie Humphries (CAN)
2. 1,591 Elana Meyers Taylor (USA)
3. 1,538 Mariama Jamanka (GER)
4. 1,493 Jamie Poser Greubel (USA)
5. 1,335 Stephanie Schneider (GER)

Men’s Skeleton:
1. 1,545 Sung-bin Yun (KOR)
2. 1,507 Axel Jungk (GER)
3. 1,464 Tomass Dukurs (LAT)
4. 1,440 Martins Dukurs (LAT)
5. 1,426 Nikita Tregubov (RUS)

Women’s Skeleton:
1. 1,628 Jacqueline Loelling (GER)
2. 1,504 Tina Hermann (GER)
3. 1,470 Elisabeth Vathje (CAN)
4. 1,306 Elena Nikitina (RUS)
5. 1,274 Jane Channell (CAN)

At PyeongChang, Kripps and Friedrich shared the gold in the 2-man and Jamanka won the women’s 2, ahead of Taylor and Humphries. Yun won a popular victory in the Skeleton in front of his home fans, ahead of Tregubov and Dominic Parsons (GBR); the now-retired Lizzy Yarnold (GBR) won the women’s Skeleton ahead of Lolling and Laura Deas (GBR).

Among the bobsledders, American Poser Greubel has retired, but Meyers Taylor is back and ready for more action. She will team with Sylvia Hoffman, and Brittany Reinbolt will be aided by Meyers Taylor’s breakman from the PyeongChang Games, Lauren Gibbs.

The U.S. men’s drivers will be Codie Bascue, Justin Olsen and rookie Kyler Allison. The U.S. Skeleton entries will be Kyle Brown and Greg West in the men’s division and Savannah Graybill and Kendall Wesenberg in the women’s race.

NBCSN will have delayed coverage on Sunday at 11 p.m. Look for results here.