Saturday 01 January 2022
Severe defeat for Ice Friedrich sledge
After 21 consecutive victories and more than a year on the top podium, bobsleigh world champion Franceso Friedrich slipped to 12th in Sigulda, Latvia. National team coach Rene Spies slams “too many individual mistakes” and talks about a “warning shot” ahead of the Winter Olympics.
A surprise at the start of the year: the impressive winning streak of double Olympic champion Francesco Friedrich (Oberbärenburg) was broken. After 21 consecutive victories at the World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia, the bobsleigh world champion finished in a disappointing 12th place only in two men. The victory went to the Russian Rostislav Gaitukewitsch.
Friedrich had the same predicament initially in both races with Alexander Schuller pushing, the sled crashed into the gang and lost a lot of momentum. Subsequently, the Saxon could not compensate for the loss of speed. In the second round, Friedrich slipped five places from seventh. “We took Starteck twice with us. Then it’s time here on the track, then you don’t have a chance and it will pass. The trip went like this, it wasn’t great today,” said the 31-year-old Friedrich.
Last warning about the Olympics
Most recently, Friedrich did not win a race in two or four in Innsbruck on December 12, 2020, when his teammate Johannes Lochner (Stuttgart) was victorious over the Dominator. In mini bobsleigh, Friedrich wasn’t last on the podium at Whistler in 2017, the same time as the perfect missed out on the top ten recently. “The fact that Franz is out of the top ten is a warning to us. We made a lot of individual mistakes, and in the end you will be punished in such a first-class field. This is a warning for us, also a showcase for the Olympics,” said national coach Rene Spies.
Lochner missed the podium with Paul Krenz in sixth place. Christoph Hafer (Bad Willenbach) and Issam Amour came in tenth place. Another two-man race on the program in Latvia on Sunday. Until the Olympics, there will still be the World Cup Finals in Winterberg (8/9 January) and St. Moritz/Switzerland (15/16 January).
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