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Nico Walther grabs first win as World Cup season starts in USA

Walther grabs first win as World Cup season starts in USA
By Sportsbeat

10/11/2017 at 09:16Updated 10/11/2017 at 12:03

Nico Walther of Germany has recorded his first ever two-man bobsleigh win at the first IBSF World Cup event of the new winter season in Lake Placid, United States.

The 2016 European Championship silver medallist and his brakeman Christian Poser were on the top step of the podium with a time of 1:51.92, ahead of two teams from the USA.

Nick Cunningham and Ryan Bailey were second, just 0.11 seconds behind Walther and Poser, with Codie Bascue and Carlo Valdes a further 0.04 seconds back in third.

The second-placed finish is Cunningham's first podium since the World Cup event at the same track back in December 2014.

Reigning world champion and World Cup holder Francesco Friedrich of Germany finished ninth with team-mate Thorsten Margis despite having the fastest start of the race (5.00s).

The British pair of Bradley Hall and Toby Olubi finished in 1:52.90, just under a second off the winners, to finish in 19th-place with compatriots Bruce Tasker and Joel Fearon in 26th.

Earlier on Thursday, Great Britain's Mica McNeill and Mica Moore opened their World Cup campaign with a brilliant performance, according to GB Bobsleigh's Performance Director Chris Price.

McNeill and Moore stopped the clock at 1:55.26 to finish eighth in the first of eight races prior to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

"That was a fantastic performance from Mica and Mica and a great way to start the season. The coaches are certainly very happy with the performance and the result," said Price.

"We were looking for a top-10 finish, as that's important when it comes to ranking spots for the Games, and they were comfortably inside that.

"It's Mica's best-ever start to a World Cup season and it gives her and Mica a very good platform to kick on from for the rest of the year.

"I know they both have a very positive relationship with Lee [Head Coach, Lee Johnston] and it's good to see their hard work pay off here after a strong set of training results as well."

The women's race was won by Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries and Melissa Lotholz, with America's Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs second and Stephanie Schneider and Lisa Marie Buckwitz, of Germany, third.