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Park City's Steve Holcomb in third at Bobsled World Championship

Michael C. Lewis | The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 26 2013 08:43 am • Last Updated Jan 27 2013 12:24 am

Defending world champion Steven Holcomb sits in third place after the first two of four runs in the two-man bobsled competition Saturday at the world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

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The second two runs are Sunday.

"We’re hoping to throw down … to move up in the standings," the Park City native said.  "We’re going to put it all on the line and try to win this thing."

That will be tough.

Holcomb and Steve Langton are 0.77 seconds behind Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Jannis Baecker, who clocked 2 minutes, 11.10 seconds for their two runs combined. Switzerland’s Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter are second in 2:11.45, with the Americans third in 2:11.87.

Holcomb is driving a new sled built by federation sponsor BMW, which he drove to a 14th-place finish in a World Cup race the day after it arrived last weekend in Igls, Austria.

"We’re on our way up," Holcomb said.  "There’s still some work to be done because it’s in the baby phase of development, but I made some minor modifications to the sled this week and it’s running fast."

Holcomb has never finished better than fourth on the St. Moritz track, and he entered the competition on the heels of some unexpectedly disappointing results, especially in the four-man race. However, he and Langton won the two-man world title last year, when Holcomb also swept the four-man and team events.

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