It was a packed German podium after the opening four-man race of the Bobsleigh World Cup season ©IBSF

Francesco Friedrich piloted the first four-man winners of the Bobsleigh World Cup season as Germany claimed the top three positions at the opener on their home track in Altenberg today.

Pushed by Jannis Bäcker, Martin Putze and Thorsten Margis, European Championship bronze medallist Friedrich registered a combined time of 1min 51.79sec which was only 0.09 quicker than their second place compatriots, the Nico Walther steered crew which also featured Marko Hübenbecker, Christian Poser and Eric Franke.

World Championship silver medallist Walther, who was in the lead after the first run in Altenberg, was followed by world champion Maximilian Arndt and his team of Kevin Kuske, Kevin Korona and Ben Heber who came third, 0.24 adrift of the winners.

The highest non-Germans were the Swiss quartet of pilot Rico Peter, Thomas Amrhein, Simon Friedli and Janne Bror van der Zijde, while Latvian and British teams came fifth and sixth respectively.

Germany dominated the opening four-man event of the World Cup season
Germany dominated the opening four-man event of the World Cup season ©Getty Images

Friedrich was left satisfied after his four-man team won on the World Cup stage for the first time, while his success meant that he doubled up after claiming the two-man title with Margis yesterday.

"It’s a lot worse if you make a mistake in the four-seater, but it went perfectly on the lower part of the track in the second run," said Friedrich.

"At last we’ve won our first World Cup victory in the four-man event.”

Walther, meanwhile, lamented the disappointing second run which ultimately cost his crew against their team-mates.

"I'm extremely dissatisfied," he said.

"We really were very slow in the second run.”

The four-man competition ended the first International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Cup meeting of the season, with the next scheduled to begin in Winterberg, Germany, on December 4.

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