Friedrich protected his 45th World Cup victory with two-man bobsleigh triumph

Francesco Friedrich stormed to his eighth triumph in nine World Cup races this season with Thorsten Margis as the German clinched European Champion gold in Winterberg.

The Olympic and world champion pilot, with push athlete Margis, finished his two runs with a combined time of 1:50.08 to top the podium in the two-man bobsleigh.

Friedrich’s time was 0.67 seconds better than his closest rival Johannes Lochner, with Eric Franke, who claimed silver in a total time of 1:50.75.

Third location went to the Austrian group of Benjamin Maier and Markus Sammer (0.85 seconds back), who secured their nation’s very first European medal in the two-man event given that 1973.

It is the third time Friedrich has won the European crown while his 45th World Cup triumph implies the German is not tied with the bobsleigh pilot record-holder, Andre Lange.

In other places, the Swiss group of Michael Vogt/Sandro Michel celebrated their best European Champions result in Winterberg as they finished 4th (1:51.20).

Rostislav Gaitiukevich from Russia also attained his finest result so far with Ilya Malykh, finishing in 5th, as Friedrich extended his overall World Cup lead over Lochner.