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U.S. men third behind Switzerland teams

12/5/2009 - Olympic Sports

CESANA PARIOL, Italy -- Americans Shauna Rohbock and Michelle Rzepka won the women's two-man bobsled World Cup race on Saturday, while the U.S. team of Steven Holcomb and Curtis Tomasevicz placed third in the men's event.

Rohbock and Rzepka led both heats for a combined time of 1 minute, 56.09 seconds in United States III, running under the lights in the night race on the track used for the 2006 Turin Olympics.

The victory snapped a run of three second-place finishes for Rohbock in Cesana, including a silver medal at the 2006 games with Valerie Fleming.

Holcomb and Tomasevicz moved up from seventh after the opening run of the men's race to place third in United States I, finishing 0.50 behind the winning time of 1:52.36 posted by Beat Hefti and Thomas Lamparter in Switzerland II. Ivo Rueegg and Cedric Grand were second, 0.22 behind in Switzerland I.

Holcomb and Tomasevicz had the disadvantage of a late start number on the first run.

"The playing field was evened out in the second run with ice conditions," Holcomb said. "I tried to be as consistent as possible, and Curt really stepped it up with the push in the second run."

The bronze medal added to the gold and silver that Holcomb has already collected in two-man this year.

John Napier and Justin Olsen of the U.S. placed fifth, just 0.03 of a second out of third. Napier was coming off a gold-medal performance at Lake Placid, his home track, two weeks ago.

"I'm really excited," the 23-year-old said. "I don't have much experience on this track, so I'm psyched to be in the mix. It was definitely an eye opener after the first run, because I realized that I really do belong here and I can be competitive at this level."

Cathleen Martini and Romy Logsch in Germany II, winners of the season's opening two women's races, finished second, 0.34 behind, and Sandra Kiriasis and Berit Wiacker in Germany I were third, 0.36 back.