Latvian bobsleighers outside the top four after the first trip in Sigulda

The leader after the first race is the German Francesco Friedrich, who together with Alexander Schiller corrected the start record (4.78 seconds), but finished after 49.61 seconds.

The crew led by the German Johannes Lohner was three hundredths slower, but the Swiss Michael Fogt was 0.36 seconds behind.

Bērziņš, who starts together with Edgars Nemmi, loses 0.41 seconds to the leader, and together with the German Christopher Hafer shares the fifth place. The crew of Ķibermanis and Dāvis Spriņģis is another ten seconds slower, which gives the seventh place, but the debutant Emīls Cipulis with Kristi Lindenblat is 0.96 slower, taking the penultimate place among 13 crews.

The second trip will start at 16:00. The competition is broadcast live on Latvian Television Channel 7.

As in the first stage on Saturday, 13 crews took part in the start on Sunday, three of which are from Latvia.

It was already known that Dāvis Kaufmanis would start only in one of the two stages. In Ķibermanis’ crew, Mikni has been replaced by Sprinģis, but Bērziņš will be helped by Nemme, thus pusher Arnis Berbrišs will not start.

For Cipulis, this is his debut in the World Cup. He gained experience in the European Cup last season, but did not stand out with high results.

Also on the line is Saturday-winning Francesco Friedrich, this time assisted by pusher Alexander Schiller. Silver prize winner Johannes Lohner starts with Eric Frank, while the Swiss Simon Friedl with pusher Dominic Schlepfer.

Lohners set a new track record in the first race in Sigulda on Saturday – 49.51 seconds.

Latvia and Germany are the only countries in these World Cup stages that have the right to start with three crews.

Bobsleigh players from the USA, Canada and Great Britain, as well as Russian and Austrian crews did not participate in the stages, because some athletes from these countries were found to have Covid-19 upon arrival in Latvia.

Last season, Ķibermanis won in both stages of Sigulda. In the first stage, Friedrich created a fierce competition for him, but in the next stage, the German did not start, winning the second place for the Swiss Simon Friedl. Last year, when Sigulda debuted in the World Cup, Friedrich was unbeaten in both stages.

In the 2019/2020 season, Ķibermanis won the second place in the overall standings, conceding only to Friedrich, but Bērziņš did not start in two stages and ranked 14th. In the quadruple for Latvians, the fourth and 17th position, respectively, but in the combination – the third and 15th place. Ķibermanis became the European champion and won bronze in the planetary championship, but Bērziņš had a place in the second tenth in these matches.

As the head coach of the Latvian bobsleigh team Sandis Prūsis revealed this week, a total of five Latvian pilots will start in the Sigulda stages.

For this reason, Cipulis was given a chance on Sunday, but Dāvis Kaufmanis proved himself on Saturday, winning the tenth place in the sum of two races.

The debut of Olympic champion Oskars Melbārzs is planned for the second weekend together with Ķibermanis and Bērziņš on both days of the competition.

Since 2006, the International Federation of Bobsleigh and Skeletons has been organizing the World Cup stages together, dividing five sets of medals in one stage – in the skeleton for ladies and gentlemen, in bobsleigh for men in doubles and fours, and for bobsleighers in doubles.

However, the Sigulda track is currently not suitable for bobsleigh quad competitions, therefore two men’s doubles competitions are taking place in Latvia in one stage.

Next weekend, the second stage of the World Cup in skeleton and bobsleigh for two will take place in Sigulda.

The next two stages will take place in Innsbruck, but one stage is planned in Winterberg after the new year. Stages will continue in St. Moritz and Königssee, but the end of the season is scheduled for mid-March on the Yanchin track, where the 2022 Beijing Olympics will take place. However, the progress of this stage is still under question.

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