Canada takes two medals in monobob, Kaillie Humphries third

WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Canada took the top two spots in the first women's monobob World Cup race of the season Friday, while Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. won the bronze.

Bianca Ribi finished her two runs in 1 minute, 50.89 seconds for her first win on the top women's circuit. She was 0.27 seconds faster than fellow Canadian slider Cynthia Appiah, and Humphries had the fastest time in the second heat to finish third, 0.29 seconds off the pace.

First-run leader Laura Nolte of Germany crashed in her second run and finished seventh.

The U.S. had three of the nine sleds in the very light season-opening field. Nicole Vogt was sixth and Riley Compton was eighth.

In the two-man race later Friday, Germany's Francesco Friedrich - the reigning Olympic and World Cup champion in both two- and four-man races - opened his season with yet another win. It was his 61st victory in his last 74 major international races.

He teamed with Alexander Schuller for the win in 1:42.22 over the British sled driven by Brad Hall and pushed by Taylor Lawrence (1:42.33). Johannes Lochner and Erec Bruckert were third for Germany.

Frank Del Duca of the U.S. was last in the 10-sled field, after he and Hakeem Abdul-Saboor crashed in their first run. Manteo Mitchell replaced Abdul-Saboor for the second heat.