Canada’s four-man bobsled team opened its World Cup season with a sixth-place finish at Lake Placid on Saturday.
Olympic bronze medalist Lyndon Rush of Humboldt, Sask., drove the Canada 1 sled to a two-run time of one minute 51.06 seconds. Calgary’s Chris Spring piloted Canada 2 to 10th place finish in 1:51.28.
Alexander Zubkov of Russia won the gold medal with a time of 1:50.15, beating the U.S. teams of Steven Holcomb and Nick Cunningham.
The Canadians were using new sleds and new team members in the World Cup opener.
“This is really a new era for our four-man teams with new sleds and almost completely new crews, so given that, it was a fabulous start for the team,” said Canadian head coach Tom Delahunty. “Rush’s team is coming together again for the first time in a while so that is like being new, and the other two sleds are completely new guys so it will take time for the teams to come together, but this is a great start for us.”
Rush had Olympic teammate Lascelles Brown of Calgary back in the fold, but welcomed new additions Cody Sorensen of Ottawa and Edmonton’s Neville Wright.
Spring was joined at Mount Van Hoevenberg by a powerful crew that includes Tim Randall of Burlington, Ont., Edmonton’s Adam Rosenke and Ben Coakwell of Saskatoon.
“I’m happy with coming back,” said Spring. “I had a rough season last year. It’s a bit of a new team, new guys and I think everyone has formed together really well and it is starting to gel. The start time shows that.”
The Canada 3 sled — piloted by rookie Justin Kripps of Summerland, B.C., along with James McNaughton of Newmarket, Ont., Luke Demetre of New Glasgow, N.S., and Nick Carriere of Rockland, Ont., — finished 16th with a time of 1:51.72.
The 25-year-old Kripps was in Pierre Lueders’ four-man crew at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.