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Snow halts bobsled, skeleton athletes' drive for podium at World Cup

Snow halts bobsled, skeleton World Cup

WINTERBERG, Germany — A finicky track, blowing winds and heavy snow determined the results at the men's World Cup two-man bobsled and skeleton races on Saturday.

Coming off a career-best eighth-place finish last weekend, Calgary's Barrett Martineau was the top Canadian in the skeleton race, clocking a two-run time of one minute 54.22 seconds to finish in 13th on the 1,330-metre track.

"I'm not overly satisfied with today's result. I was aiming for better," said Martineau. "I have very little experience here, and struggled on this track in the past. Being a really flat track means that you need to be perfect with the lines, and have the proper equipment to be fast.

"My push, and the sliding itself went well today. The real struggle with today was equipment, but this year is all about getting things figured out for next season. It's a trial and error process to find out what works best on which tracks. I've gained some valuable information this race in order to become more competitive the next time I come back."

Dave Greszczyszyn, of Brampton, Ont., finished 17th at 1:54.58, while Canada's rookie on the World Cup, Kevin Boyer, did not qualify for the second heat, placing 25th.

Latvia's Dukurs brothers found their top speed after struggling in the early part of the season. Martins Dukurs shattered the field with a golden time of 1:52.04. Tomass finished sixth-tenths back in second at 1:52.66.

Russia's Alexander Tretiakov moved four spots up the standings into third after clocking the second-fastest final heat time. Tretiakov finished with a combined time of 1:52.71.

In the men's two-man bobsled, Canada's Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., and Jesse Lumsden of Burlington, Ont., plummeted to 18th at 1:53.44 in a snow storm. They were 12th after the opening run.

Germany's Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis were first with a time of 1:51.67. Johannes Lochner and Joshua Bluhm, also of Germany, placed second at 1:52.38. Latvia's Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis were third with a time of 1:52.44.

Canada's other two sleds did not qualify for the second run. Nick Poloniato of Hamilton and Derek Plug of Calgary were 22nd. Battling a banged up knee injury, Calgary's Chris Spring and Edmonton's Neville Wright were 23rd.

The World Cup wraps up on Sunday in Winterberg with the women's skeleton and four-man bobsled races.

The Canadian Press