Canada's Kaillie Humphries opens World Cup bobsled with win

Pilot Kaillie Humphries, front, and Melissa Lotholz, of Canada, celebrate after winning the women's two-person World Cup bobsled race in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Kaillie Humphries went to bobsled school in Lake Placid. She apparently paid attention in class.

The two-time reigning Olympic champion from Canada got her season off to a winning start, teaming with Melissa Lotholz to win gold at Mount Van Hoevenberg in the World Cup opener. It was the fourth time Humphries won in Lake Placid, where she drove a bobsled for the first time in 2006 and quickly became one of the sport's stars.

"To beat the Americans on any track is difficult," Humphries said.

Humphries' two-run time was 1 minute, 54.40 seconds. She edged longtime friend and rival Elana Meyers Taylor of the U.S., who paired with Lauren Gibbs to finish in 1:54:43 — with a start record in there as well. Germany got the bronze, with Stephanie Schneider and Lisa Marie Buchwitz finishing in 1:54.60 and nipping Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans of the U.S. by 0.01 seconds.

"I love this track just as much as anybody," said Humphries, whose hair was dyed in the colours of the South Korean flag in a nod to the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics. "I've been driving it for numerous years and I'm really happy to do it justice today."

It was the 13th time that Humphries and Meyers Taylor finished first and second in a World Cup, world championship or Olympic competition. Humphries now has won seven of those, Meyers Taylor six.

"She had a good day. I didn't have a great day. That's kind of how it goes," Meyers Taylor said. "I don't expect this to be the trend, though."

Meyers Taylor nor Greubel Poser do not have as many runs as they would like at this point in the season, largely because warm conditions in Lake Placid made it difficult to get on ice.

"I'm going to get the feeling back in my sled," Meyers Taylor said. "For me and Jamie, we just don't have the run volume right now. Once we get into the swing of things and really get comfortable with our sleds, we'll be good."

Greubel Poser, who won at Lake Placid each of the last two seasons, settled for fourth on her 34th birthday.

"So much went into preparing for this season, it was different for a lot of different reasons for us," Evans said. "I think to get over this first hurdle with this first race in Lake Placid, it was big just to get it out of the way. Now we can move on and keep pursuing Pyeongchang."


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