SPORTS

Justin Kripps, Bryan Barnett crack top-10 for Canada in World Cup bobsleigh

01/31/2015 01:22 EST | Updated 04/02/2015 05:59 EDT
Canada’s Justin Kripps and Bryan Barnett overcame another slow start to record a 10th-place finish in a two-man bobsled World Cup race on Saturday in La Plagne, France.

Kripps and Barnett posted a two-run time of one minute 59.40 seconds on the relatively unknown 1,507-metre track winding through the French Alps.

World champion Francesco Friedrich won his second race of the season with German teammate Martin Grothkopp in 1:58.48.

Saturday’s event counted as the European championship.

“We put together two good pushes and two good runs so I was happy with our performance even though the speed wasn’t there,” Kripps said in a news release from Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton. “We definitely don’t have the fastest starts yet.”

Kripps added he seems to be losing the equipment battle this season.

“I just feel the drive is much better than a lot of sleds,” the Summerland, B.C., native said, “but we still seem to be much slower than most of the field unless we are on more difficult tracks where we can separate ourselves a bit more.”

Calgary’s Chris Spring and teammate Alexander Kopacz of London, Ont., placed 17th on Saturday in a time of 2:00.03.

Latvian pair Oskars Melbardis and Daumants Dreiskens finished second (1:58.52) while Rico Peter from Switzerland was third with Janne Bror van der Zijde (1:58.69).

Melbardis now holds a 28-point World Cup lead over Beat Hefti of Switzerland, with the two men locked in a tight battle after six of eight events. Hefti, the 2014 European champion, was fifth Saturday.

On Sunday, Kripps will welcome back Tim Randall from injury in the four-man bobsled race.

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