WINTERBERG DAY 1: USA WITH 4 IN TOP 10
by Lauren Howe
Germany continues gold medaldominance
WINTERBERG, Germany –In the midst of a string of racesheldin Germany,thehometeamonce again remained at the top of the podium across all disciplines in Winterbergafter the first day of competitions.
Top U.S. finishers wereChevonne Forgan and SophieKirkbyplacingsixth in women’s doubles.Zack DiGregorio and Sean Hollander were ninth in men’s doubles, whileJonny Gustafson wastenthin men’s singles.
World ChampionsJessica Degenhardt and Cheyenne Rosenthalof Germanywon the gold medal with a time ofone minute28.28seconds.Austria’s Selina Egle and Lara Kipp took silver in 1:28.508, andItaly’sAndreaVötterand Marion Oberhofer took third in 1:28.534.
The American team ofForgan(Chelmsford, Mass.) andKirkby(Ray Brook, N.Y.)weresixth in 1:29.095after setting the fastest start of the dayin the second heat.Maya Chan (Chicago, Illinois) and Reannyn Weiler (Whitesboro, N.Y.) placed seventh with a time of 1:29.692.Summer Britcher (Glen Rock, Pa.) and Emily Sweeney (Lake Placid, N.Y)did not enter.Britcher is not competing this week due to a recurring shoulder injury.
Vötter/Oberhofer are the overall World Cup leaders with 770 points. Egle/Kipp are in second with 700, and Degenhardt/Rosenthal are in third with 671. Forgan/Kirkby are fourth with 475 points, Chan/Weiler move up to sixth with 382, and Sweeney/Britcher are eighth with 295.
Germany’s Max Langenhan remained at the top of the podium, winning his third consecutive World Cup gold medal of the season with a time of 1:45.687. Langenhan missed the first three races of the tour due to a hand injury. 2023 World Champion Jonas Muller of Austria took silver in 1:45.987, and Felix Loch of Germany placed third in 1:46.009.
Following a bronze medal finish in yesterday’s Nation’s Cup qualifying race, Gustafson had two strong runs and placed tenth with a time of 1:46.538. While teammate Tucker West (Ridgefield, Conn.) had the strongest start of the second heat with four-hundreds of a second off the start record, he finished just behind Gustafson in 1:46.358 in 11th.
“I didn't put any pressure on myself or have any expectations and just wanted to enjoy competing this weekend,” said Gustafson, a 2022 Olympian. “I can happily say that has been successful so far and I'm looking forward to one more fun run in the sprint tomorrow.”
Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller is in first place in the World Cup overall standings with 665 points. Loch is in second with 566, and Kindl in third with 508. U.S. athletes are led by West in eighth with 376 points and Gustafson in 12th with 293. 2018 Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer only competed in North America and finished his season with 114 points.
Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won gold with at time of 1:27.141. Teammates Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken secured silver in 1:27.571, bouncing back after sitting in sixth place following the firstheat. Latvia’s Martins Bots and Roberts Plume placed third with a time of 1:27.641.
2022 Olympians DiGregorio (Medway, Mass.) and Hollander (Lake Placid, N.Y.) placed ninth with a time of 1:27.965. Spectators serenaded Hollander with a German-accented version of “Happy Birthday” as he turns 23 today. Dana Kellogg (Chesterfield, Mass.) and Duncan Segger (Lake Placid, N.Y.) landed in 13th with a time of 1:28.534.
Wendl/Arlt bumped Eggert/Benecken out of the top spot of the World Cup overall standings, with 714 points. Eggert/Benecken are in second with 700 points, while Bots/Plume are in third with 595. DiGregorio/Hollander hold eighth with 391 points, and Kellogg/Segger are 14th with 224.
World Cup action continues in Winterberg tomorrow with the women’s singles and sprint races. To watch all races live and view archived competitions, please visit the FIL’s YouTube channel:. The entire World Cup and World Championship season can be accessed from this portal.