What's happening this week in the world of sliding?

The week of 29 November sees World Cup events contested in all three sliding disciplines -- with the ever-dominant Germans keen to keep hold of their podium positions across bobsleigh, luge and skeleton.

By Jonah Fontela
Picture by Jan Hetfleisch

The 2021/22 World Cup seasons in luge, skeleton and bobsleigh continue this week (29 November) as the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 draw nearer (the Games officially open on 4 February 2022).

Here's a look ahead to the events this week, as well as a brief recap of the current season standings in all three sports.

Bobsleigh World Cup second stage

  • Where: Altenberg, Germany
  • When: 4-5 December
  • Events: Two-Man, Four-Man, Two-Woman

After a pair of events in Innsbruck to open the tour, it's no surprise that the Germans are atop all categories of the bobsleigh competition. Francesco Friedrich and Johannes Lochner are out in front in the two-man event heading into the first Germany-based event of the season this weekend.

Friedrich also leads the four-man competition, while Laura Nolte and Kim Kalicki are out in front in the two-woman event.

Friedrich -- clearly the world’s most dominant athlete on the men's side of the sport -- extended his World Cup-winning streak to six races at the weekend as the powerful German team look to stay on top of all three categories at the start of next week.

Current World Cup standings

*After two of eight events

Two-man

  1. Francesco Friedrich (GER) - 450 points
  2. Johannes Lochner (GER) - 420 points
  3. Justin Kripps (CAN) - 392 points

Four-man

  1. Francesco Friedrich (GER) - 450 points
  2. Oskars Ķibermanis (LAT) - 394 points
  3. Johannes Lochner (GER) - 378

Two-woman

  1. Laura Nolte (GER) - 450 points
  2. Kim Kalicki (GER) - 420 points
  3. Christine De Bruin (CAN) - 400 points

Luge World Cup third stage

  • Where: Sochi, Russia
  • When: 4-5 December
  • Events: Men's & Women's Singles, Doubles, Team Relay

The luge World Cup remains in Sochi for a second straight week after the season opened in Yanqing, People's Republic of China (which will host the luge, skeleton and bobsleigh competitions at Beijing 2022).

Johannes Ludwig of Germany and his compatriot Anna Berreiter sit atop the individual leaderboards after two weeks of World Cup competition -- with the Latvian brother-act of Andris Šics / Juris Šics on top in doubles and Austria leading the way in relay.

Latvia
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Reigning Olympic champion Natalie Geisenberger of Germany is aiming to build back from an eighth-place finish last week and a slow start to the season. So far, six different women have won the six medals on offer in the first two stops of the season.

On the men’s doubles side, reigning World Cup overall champions Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller (Austria) are out of commission for a likely three-week stretch after Steu broke his foot in training in Sochi.

Current World Cup standings

*After two of nine events

Men's Singles

  1. Johannes Ludwig (GER) - 200 points
  2. Felix Loch (GER) - 170 points
  3. Max Langenhan (GER) - 130 points

Women's singles

  1. Anna Berreiter (GER) - 160 points
  2. Madeleine Egle (AUT) - 146 points
  3. Julia Taubitz (GER) - 124 points

Doubles

  1. Andris Šics / Juris Šics (LAT) - 170 points
  2. Toni Eggert / Sascha Benecken (GER) - 160 points
  3. Andrey Bogdanov / Yuri Prokhorov (RUS) - 111 points

Team Relay

  1. Austria
  2. Germany
  3. Latvia

Skeleton World Cup third stage

  • Where: Altenberg, Germany
  • When: 3 December
  • Events: Women's Skeleton, Men's Skeleton

After a pair of events in Innsbruck, this weekend sees a third event in the highly competitive arena of skeleton racing.

While Christopher Grotheer of Germany is cruising at the top of the men’s division, the fight for second and third is as tight as can be with Alexander Tretiakov of Russia and Germany’s Axel Jungk separated by one slim point in the overall table.

Just behind the leading trio is Jung Seung-gi of Korea Republic, aiming to break into the top-three and medal contention ahead of the Beijing Games in February.

On the women’s side last week, Elena Nikitina – already a five-time winner at the Innsbruck track – made it six with an emphatic win that leaves Dutchwoman Kimberley Bos and Valentina Margaglio of Italy looking up with work to do.

Current World Cup standings

*After two of eight events

Women's singles

  1. Elena Nikitina (RUS) - 450 points
  2. Kimberley Bos (NED) - 420 points
  3. Valentina Margaglio (ITA) - 384 points

Men's singles

  1. Christopher Grotheer (GER) - 425
  2. Alexander Tretiakov (RUS) - 377 points
  3. Axel Jungk (GER) - 376 points
Elena Nikitina
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

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