U.S. 4-man bobsled wins 2nd straight

CESANA PARIOL, Italy -- Steven Holcomb drove United States I to its second consecutive four-man bobsled World Cup victory on Sunday.

Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz won in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 51.22 seconds on Sunday, leading both runs on the track used for the 2006 Turin Olympics.

"It takes work every week to get on the podium, so it's never an easy journey to win gold," Holcomb said. "You usually know on your second run if you held onto the lead, but it's still surprising to see your time on the clock."

Switzerland I with Ivo Rueegg, Roman Handschin, Cedric Grand and Patrick Bloechliger finished second, a whopping 0.41 seconds behind.

Canada I with Lyndon Rush, Chris Le Bihan, Dan Humphries and Lascelles Brown placed third, 0.45 back.

American John Napier had a strong first run but faltered in the second to finish ninth in 1:52.00.

Holcomb holds a 25-point lead over Rush in the World Cup standings.

Olsen, Mesler and Tomasevicz gave the "Night Train" sled the best start times in both heats with push times of 4.77 and 4.74 seconds.

"I need to give credit to the guys because we had two fast pushes," Holcomb said. "... We have all the components to make it work, and the team came together today."

The last time Holcomb won on a European track was in January 2007 in the four-man World Cup competition in Cortina, Italy. Holcomb won the overall title that season, and is on track to reclaiming the crown going into the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

The World Cup circuit will continue in Winterberg, Germany, from Dec. 7-13.

"It will be tough going back to Germany," Holcomb said. "This was our first European win in a couple of years, but it's nice to finally be back on top, especially this year."