Neilson finished in one minute 47.11 seconds, the third top-six Olympic qualifier for the 31-year-old, who also has two fifth-places finishes in Europe this year. He now only needs one more top-six finish on the World Cup next year to punch his ticket to his first ever Olympic Games.
"Today was pretty decent. I didn't push as well as I had hoped, but considering I have had a fever, and have been sick all week, I'm pretty pleased," said Neilson. "I'm glad I woke up this morning and felt better. It's nice to go into World Championships with a good result."
Jon Montgomery of Russell, Man., continues to improve on his new sled while sliding back into the top 10. The Olympic champ placed eighth at 1:47.46. Calgary's John Fairbairn was 15th (1:47.92).
Latvia's Dukurs brothers grabbed the gold and bronze medals. Martins continued his dominance finishing on top at 1:45.13 to retain his European title, while Tomass rounded out the podium with a time of 1:46.88. Russia's Alexander Tretjyakov was sandwiched between the Latvians in the silver-medal spot at 1:45.88.
If Martins Dukurs also wins in Sochi, Russia in February, he will earn a 100,000 Euros (C$132,070.32) bonus awarded by governing body FIBT for the athlete who takes the last three World Cups of the season.