Canadian Olympic medallist Kaillie Humphries captured a gold medal on Friday at a bobsled World Cup event in France.
The 26-year-old from Calgary teamed up with rookie brakeman Emily Baadsvik to clock a two-run time of two minutes 02.81 seconds to top the podium. Germany's Cathleen Martini and Janine Tischer (2:02.93) grabbed silver while Fabienne Meyer and Hanne Schenke locked up the bronze for Switzerland with a time of 2:02.98.
It was the ninth career medal for Humphries who won a gold along with Heather Moyse at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
“It feels really nice. I didn't expect to much today but sliding has gone well all week and things turned out great,” said Humphries, who also won a bronze at last year's World Championships with Moyse. “Emily did a great job today. The start is long and flat which treated us well so we are very happy.”
It was the first time Humphries and the world's top bobsled athletes have competed on the 1,507-metre track nestled in a valley of the French Alps that was created for the 1992 Olympics.
“The start is long and flat and the track is quick with long pressure corners,” said Humphries. “The sled runs well here and I think the track likes me as well. I think it is a shame we haven't been here before and I hope we come back.”
With veteran Helen Upperton competing on a condensed schedule this year and Moyse taking the year off, Humphries hooked up Baadsvik to take the Canadian women's bobsled program on her shoulders.
“It is definitely a challenge and one we knew we would have to deal with this year,” said Humphries in a press release. “There is a lot that is new this year for sure, and every track in Europe is new to my brakeman, but I am doing my best to give them little tips and guide them where I can.”
Meanwhile, Mike Douglas was top Canadian in men's skeleton which hit the track earlier in the day. Toronto's Douglas clocked-in at 2:04.07 to place 10th. Calgary's John Fairbairn also slid into the top-15 after finishing 14th at 2:04.69. World Cup rookie, Eric Neilson of Victoria, rounded out the Canadians on Friday in 20th (2:10.15).
Latvia's Dukurs brothers took control of the men's race finishing one-two. Martins Dukurs won his second-straight race with a time of 2:01.25, while Tomass, slid to the silver after stopping the clock at 2:02.23. Russia's Alexander Tretiakov rounded out the podium in third at 2:02.42.