Bobsled driver Steven Holcomb continued his unexpected struggles on the World Cup circuit Sunday, when he finished just seventh in a four-man race in Switzerland — his fifth straight race off the podium following seven straight victories to start the season.
"We have a couple more races to go" before the Sochi Olympics in Russia, he said. "We’ll keep fighting the good fight."
The Park City native is the defending Olympic champion in the four-man race, and has Alpine’s Chris Fogt as a push athlete in his new "Night Train 2" sled. But they finished in a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 10.29 seconds, a vast 0.77 seconds behind winner Oskars Melbardis of Latvia.
"It’s good to see Melbardis put together two consistent runs," Holcomb said. "Of course. I wanted to be on the other side of that, but what can you do?"
The struggles have been surprising for a driver as strong as Holcomb, who has extensive experience and two new sleds — a two-man version built by BMW and the four-man one built by the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project — that have proved capable of beating the rest of the world.
All of Holcomb’s seven straight victories came in North America, while his last five nonpodium finishes have come in Europe, including a rare four-man crash in Germany last weekend.
The bobsledders have two more World Cup stops before the Olympics, next weekend in Igls, Austria, and the following weekend in Konigsee, Germany. The Olympics begin Feb. 7.
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