Golden groove

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

First-first was a first for Pierre Lueders.

"It's the first time I've ever won both the two-man and the four-man in Europe on the same weekend," said the Edmonton bobsled driver after doing the double, going gold-gold in Konigssee, Germany.

The only ride as much fun might have been the five-hour one from Konigssee to St. Moritz, Switzerland, with his team after the event.

"Yeah, it was a nice drive," said Lueders, who was behind the wheel all the way for that one, too. "We drove for my first back-to-back wins in Europe to the site of where I won my first four-man race last year," he said in a phone interview with the Sun upon arrival in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Lueders has only won the four-man bobsled four times - two of them in Calgary.

He's won 24 World Cup races in the two-man, plus two world championships, along with his Nagano 1998 Olympic gold medal.

"What's that add up to?" he asked.

Thirty-one.

"I've been first-third before. We were first-third at the world championships last year," he said of the two-man and four-man races.

FELL INTO THE SLED

Last year at the Olympic bobsled run in Turin, Italy, Lueders went silver-silver.

"That was probably the best combination until this one. And that one would have been first-second if I hadn't fallen into the sled, slipping trying to get in, then banging into the wall on the first turn," said Lueders.

Lueders and Lascelles Brown, the defending world champions in the two-man, won their first World Cup race of the season in the event Saturday by .30 seconds - a large margin in bobsledding.

Yesterday, with Ken Kotyk and Morgan Alexander joining them in the big sled, they recorded a track record on the first run and ended up with a .20 margin of victory.

Brown is the Jamaican bobsledder who is expected to become a Canadian citizen Jan. 24. Kotyk is from Regina and Alexander from Calgary.

Lueders, who won his first world championship at the Konigssee track, loves the place where his fan club flocks.

DELAYED DEPARTURE

Lueders and crew were forced to delay their departure from Konigssee for a while to celebrate, with the dozens of members of the Pierre Lueders fan club, several of whom made the trip to Calgary last year for the world championships.

"Yeah, there were a bunch of them there. They try to make it to one race every year as a group, wearing the same sweaters and flying the Canadian flag," he said of the international fan club which is made up predominantly of Germans.

Lueders said this four-man win has been coming.

"We weren't showing everything in terms of runners and stuff."

But they showed enough to show they could win.

American Todd Hayes finished second, with Rene Spies of Germany third.

"The starts were good today, the driving was good, we had the right setups," said Lueders. "We're pretty happy with the result.

"I've had a lot of success here (St. Moritz), too. We've won the two-man in two of the last three World Cups here. We won the four-man here last year. And, we hear the track is amazingly fast this year."

Perfect timing. Pierre Lueders is running amazingly fast again, too.


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