Bobsled driver Steven Holcomb clinched the overall two-man World Cup season title on Saturday, despite a mechanical problem with his new BMW sled that nearly cost him the crown.
“That was close,” he said.
The Park City native rallied in his second of two runs to finish seventh at the final race of the season in Konigssee, Germany. He and brakeman Curt Tomasevicz were just 10th after the first run, in danger of losing their spot atop the World Cup standings to two-time champion Beat Hefti of Switzerland.
But mechanics fixed the problem between heats, and Holcomb moved up three places in his second run to secure his first two-man title since 2007.
“It was a wake up call,” Holcomb said. “We almost lost the title. We were able to put down the second run we needed to keep it. It takes more than great driving and pushing. There’s a team behind the team that deserves recognition, and sled technicians Richard Laubenstein, David Cripps and Jim Garde really get the credit today. It was a team effort and it’s why we are the best right now.”
Holcomb will be a favorite at the upcoming Sochi Olympics in Russia, in both the two-man race and the four-man race, in which he’s the defending Olympic champion. Holcomb will race his final four-man event of the season Sunday.
The Americans will have another medal contender in the two-man race in Sochi, after driver Cory Butner finished fourth Saturday for the third time this season; he also has two bronze medals and finished the season ranked fourth overall - just eight points out of third place.
Holcomb won the overall title with 1,645 points, with Hefti second with 1,610 points.