Mike Groll, AP
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — It’s an unimaginable feat — even to the man who is accomplishing it.
Park City native Steve Holcomb won his seventh consecutive bobsled race in the final competition of the Lake Placid World Cup. Just this weekend, he went 3-for-3, which makes him a perfect 7-for-7 in this pre-Olympic World Cup season.
"If you told me that I would have won everything a month ago, I would have thought you were crazy," Holcomb said. "It is surreal and a little overwhelming."
He’s won all three four-man World Cup races with his Night Train crew — Steve Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and Alpine’s Chris Fogt. He’s won every two-man competition, alternating races with Langton and Fogt. No matter who is in the sled, Holcomb is winning — which says a lot about his driving, as well as the depth of the U.S. bobsled team.
Sunday’s feat was among the toughest wins as intermittent snow gave Holcomb and the Night Train crew what was likely a slower track than earlier sleds had. But the four men have set a new standard, and at least one start house record, with their scorching fast start times. They were the only sled to start in under five seconds — and they did it both runs.
"Things are starting to come around," Holcomb said. "Today's win is definitely because of our push, and that is what kept us in the mix. I made some mistakes driving."
Holcomb’s team won gold with a combined time of 1:51.15, beating British pilot James Jackson and his crew by a mere .07. The German sled driven by Thomas Florschuetz was third .25 seconds behind Holcomb.
Sunday’s gold medal was the 11th medal won by the U.S. bobsled and skeleton team in this weekend’s World Cup. The rest of the world combined for the other 10 medals.
Both coaches and athletes said the new sleds — two-man from BMW and four-man from Bodyn — along with dedicated technicians and the world’s best athletes is responsible for the impressive showing that included the first-ever U.S. men’s sweep in two-man bobsled on Saturday.
"You can't just point to one thing," said USBSF CEO Darrin Steele, whose team had at least one medalist in all seven races contested on their home ice this weekend. "We've got really strong pushes, our pilots are improving, starts are improving and our equipment is doing great. Everything's building toward the Olympic Games."
Alpine’s Chris Fogt won two gold medal this weekend, one of which came with Holcomb in leading that historic sweep.
“I’m very happy,” said Fogt, who will return to Utah for Christmas break. “It took me six years to win a gold and now I’ve won five of them.”
He said the team won’t relax simply because it has won every race in the first half of the World Cup season.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” he said. “The thing is, everyone is trying to knock us off the top though. So we have to keep training really hard through Christmas break.”
He said he’s looking forward to working out in Utah County with his friends, family and former track teammates at Utah Valley University.
“I’m looking forward to some R and R,” he said.
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