Lyndon Rush piloted his two-man bobsled to a golden finish to conclude the first half of the World Cup season Saturday in La Plagne, France.
Teamed with former CFL star Jesse Lumsden this was their first gold medal of the season and the third straight podium finish.
The pair posted the fastest times in both runs down the twisting gnarly track nestled in the French Alps for a combined time of 2:01.18, according to a news release from Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton.
“We’ve been close all year, but it is so fun when you finally close the deal,” said Rush, who grabbed his first silver this year with Lascelles Brown on the brakes. “It is so hard to start on this track because it is really flat so it exposes the better athletes. Jesse is an unbelievable athlete and he did an incredible job carrying the load today.”
Saturday’s gold, which is Rush’s third career two-man victory, brings the Canadian bobsleigh squad’s podium total to nine this year. Rush and Lumsden have combined to win five World Cup medals together, including two victories, in addition to sliding to the silver medal at last year’s World Championships.
“So much of the credit has to go to Eurotech and the mechanics they have working on our sleds,” said Rush. “They do all of the work which allows us athletes to focus on pushing and driving … we are one of the best supported teams in the world through Eurotech.”
Rush finished a discouraging 18th Sunday in the four-man World Cup race on the La Plagne track which is the longest in the world.
With Lumsden, Cody Sorenson and Neville Wright in his sled, Rush was 1.44 seconds back of Beat Hefti of Switzerland who ended Alex Zubkov’s four-raxe win streak when he edged the Russian by .09 seconds.
Rush has struggled in the four-man races this season finishing 13th in Winterberg, Germany a week before and eighth in Whistler a few weeks prior. At that time he said he liked the way the Eurotech four-man sled was handling after initially being “scared” of it. “But we haven’t been fast in it yet.”
In the two man competition, Rush is ranked third with 871 points, behind Steven Holcomb of the USA with 1,059 points and Zubkov with 882 points. He’s in ninth position overall in the four man competition with 1,204 points. Zubkov leads the pack with 1,671 points.
The next World Cup bobsleigh races are in Altenberg, Germany January 5 and 6.