CALGARY, Alberta — Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton of the United States not only went into Canada and prevailed, but they set a track record in the process.
That's quite a way to start an Olympic season.
Holcomb and Langton won the first two-man World Cup bobsled race of the Olympic season on Friday night, finishing two runs in Calgary in 1 minute, 49.22 seconds.
They were 0.16 seconds ahead of Switzerland's Beat Hefti and Alex Baumann, and 0.20 seconds better than Canada's Chris Spring and Jesse Lumsden.
"It's an interesting feeling knowing that no one has been faster than us down this track," Holcomb said. "It's pretty cool to have a track record on an established track, and it's actually my first track record in two-man."
All three U.S. sleds placed in the top 10. Cory Butner and Andreas Drbal were ninth, and Nick Cunningham and Johnny Quinn placed 10th.
Even with the track record of 54.51 seconds in the opening heat, Holcomb and Langton were only 0.02 seconds better than Spring and Lumsden at the midway point of the competition.
But the Canadians faltered on home ice in their second run, and Holcomb made it down without any major mistakes to wrap up the win.
"Langton gave me two great starts," Holcomb said.
"I think we could have pushed even faster, but I'm getting old and not recovering as quickly from traveling as I used to. I made a few mistakes that added up and I think there's still some room to go even faster."
For Spring, who was born in Australia and became a Canadian citizen earlier this year, the result was significant nonetheless. It was his first World Cup medal with Lumsden.
"We are satisfied, but we wanted more tonight," Spring said. "It is a World Cup podium and you have to be happy with that especially when it is at home."
Longtime German stars Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske held the Calgary two-man record from November 2005 through Saturday.
The four-man event in Calgary is Saturday morning, and the women's bobsled season opener is Saturday afternoon.