LA PLAGNE, France (Dec. 11, 2012)-The World Cup tour stops this week in the mountains of La Plagne, France for the final event before the holiday break. The La Plagne track was the sliding venue for the 1992 Winter Olympics, whose host city was neighboring Albertville. This is the second season in a row that La Plagne has hosted a World Cup event, and the location has quickly become a favorite for athletes from all nations.
The detailed schedule is as follows, with all times listed in local time and EST in parentheses:
Friday, Dec. 14
9:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m.) – Men’s skeleton race heat #1
11:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.) – Men’s skeleton race heat #2
1:25 p.m. (7:25 a.m.)– Women’s bobsled race heat #1
2:55 p.m. (8:55 a.m.)– Women’s bobsled race heat #2
Saturday, Dec. 15
9:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m.)– Women’s skeleton race heat #1
11:15 a.m. (5:15 a.m.)– Women’s skeleton race heat #2
1:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m.)– Men’s two-man bobsled race heat #1
3 p.m. (9 a.m.)- Men’s two-man bobsled race heat #2
Sunday, Dec. 16
9:25 a.m. (3:25 a.m.)- Men’s four-man bobsled race heat #1
10:55 a.m. (4:55 a.m.)-Men’s four-man bobsled race heat #2
After finishing fourth last season, men’s skeleton racer Matt Antoine (Prairie du Chien, Wisc.) has the medal stand dialed in as his target for Friday. He’ll be joined by teammates John Daly (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Kyle Tress (Ewing, N.J.) in the chase for gold.
Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) claimed silver in last weekend’s women’s bobsled race and will combine forces in the KOA sled on Friday in hopes of climbing into gold medal position. Meyers is currently ranked third in overall standings and could overtake German Sandra Kiriasis with a medal performance in La Plagne. Jazmine Fenlator (Wayne, N.J.) and Lolo Jones (Des Moines, Iowa) claimed silver in the season opener and are paired together again this weekend. Jamie Greubel (Newtown, Pa.) goes into Friday’s races with two fourth-place finishes on her resume. Greubel and Emily Azevedo (Chico, Calif.) hopes to power the Sliding for Hope sled onto the podium before the holiday.
Women’s skeleton competitor Katie Uhlaender (Breckenridge, Colo.) claimed bronze in La Plagne last season and is a strong candidate for gold on Saturday. Uhlaender enters this weekend with extra determination after a blunder at the start in Winterberg, Germany last weekend put her below the top 20. Kimber Gabryszak (Park City, Utah) rejoins the World Cup circuit after earning double gold medals on her home track in Park City during the Intercontinental Cup event.
Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) is still the two-man bobsled points leader and is ranked second in four-man standings. Holcomb and his world championship gold medal brakeman Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) will aim to extend their two-man lead on Saturday. Holcomb, Langton, Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) hope to chase down Russian Alexander Zubkov in Sunday’s four-man contest.
National Guardsman Nick Cunningham (Monterey, Calif.) will compete with first-year athlete Andreas Drbal (Belmont, Calif.) in the two-man race. Adam Clark (Owenton, Ky.) and Chris Fogt (Alpine, Utah) will join the crew for the four-man race.
Cory Butner (Yucaipa, Calif.) will be joined by Jesse Beckom (Chicago, Ill,), Chris Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Johnny Quinn (McKinney, Texas) in the four-man event. His two-man brakeman will be decided during training this week. Thanks to two silver medal performances behind Holcomb in Lake Placid, N.Y. and Park City, Utah, Butner sits in third place overall.