IGLS, Austria (AP) — World bobsled champion Francesco Friedrich of Germany won his second straight World Cup on Friday, while American Elana Meyers Taylor won her fifth event of the season.
A week after winning in La Plagne, France, Friedrich teamed with Thorsten Margis to post the fastest time in both runs and beat World Cup leader Oskars Melbardis of Latvia by 0.31 seconds. Melbardis and his pusher Daumants Dreiskens trailed already by 0.23 after a poor start to their first run.
Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann of Switzerland were 0.62 back in third.
"I am a little bit sorry for Oskars because of his first start," Friedrich said. "He had this mistake, and this could happen to every of us. But we are very happy with this result, and we made a good job today on the start and in the run."
With one World Cup remaining — in Sochi, Russia, next week — Melbardis remained in the overall lead, 38 points clear of Hefti, and 45 ahead of Friedrich. A win is worth 225 points.
In the women's race, Meyers Taylor and pusher Lauryn Williams trailed Anja Schneiderheinze and Annika Drazek by 0.06 seconds after the opening heat, before winning the final run and edging the Germans on combined time by 0.07.
"I was excited about the drives today," said Meyers Taylor, who paired with Williams for only the second time since winning Olympic silver a year ago. "I was going to be happy regardless of the finish because I really felt consistent and really felt it were good drives."
Jamie Greubel Poser and Cherrelle Garrett of the United States finished 0.97 behind in third, with Americans Jazmine Fenlator and Lauren Gibbs another 0.02 back in fourth.
In the standings, Meyers Taylor leads Schneiderheinze by 104 points. Two-time Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Canada, who finished sixth on Friday, is 177 points back in third.
The four-man bobsled race is scheduled for Sunday.
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