Lueders wins 25th gold

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

It was Pierre Lueders' 25th World Cup two-man bobsled win.

Also his 75th overall World Cup medal.

Impressed? Not Lueders.

"Took long enough," said the 36-year-old Olympic gold-and-silver medal winner, who ended up on top of the podium for the first time this season in Igls, Austria, yesterday.

It came just in time, too.

Lueders and his Turin 2006 silver-medal brakeman Lascelles Brown of Calgary head to St. Moritz, Switerland to defend their world championship next week.

It was Lueders' first win in the new sled he hopes to master in time for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

"After nine years, I decided it was time to send the old sled to the museum," he said.

"The sled is very different. It's a great new sled but it's very unforgiving. I have a lot of room left for improvement driving-wise. If you make a mistake, you're all over the place."

Lueders didn't make many mistakes yesterday.

The pilot, who won Olympic two-man gold at Nagano in 1998, medalled in the first four World Cup events this year.

Posting the fastest start times in both runs, Lueders moved his Canada 1 sled from second place after the first heat to edge Karl Angerer's Germany 1 outfit with a combined time of 1:44.93.

"On a post-Olympic year, there's quite a lot of change," said Lueders.

"The new two-man sled is a major part of ours. But there's a lot of change. We have a new coaching staff and new faces on the team."

One is fellow Edmontonian David Bissett.

Last year, the former University of Alberta football player made it into the Olympics in the four-man event on the Canada 2 sled. He has now moved up to Canada 1 with Lueders in the four-man.

Bissett even replaced Brown for a weekend in the two-man sled and won a World Cup silver medal in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

"There's a big learning curve for Bissett. Last year he basically had half a year. This is his first full year. He has a lot to learn very quickly. But he's doing well. I'm very happy with him," said Lueders, who wasn't planning on many gold medals this year.

"To tell you the truth, going into the season, we weren't expecting to do much winning," he said.

The Olympic hangover isn't the problem.

"I've read a lot about how so many athletes have a hard time getting motivated after the Olympics.

"But it hasn't seemed to be for Lascelles and me.

"My cure was two weeks after the Olympics I was already testing new sleds and new parts and stuff. I think it is easier to get over your Olympic high if you get right back to work."


Videos

Photos