LUGE: Loch closes in on men’s lead in weather-shortened Altenberg World Cup

German luge superstar Felix Loch (Photo: Sandro Halank via Wikipedia)

Bad weather hampered the final day of the FIL World Cup in Altenberg (GER), but six-time World Cup champion Felix Loch (GER) made it clear on Saturday that he sees a seventh title in his future.

This hasn’t been his best year, but he finally broke through to win a World Cup race for the first time this season, ahead of Austria’s Reinhard Egger and Germany’s Johannes Ludwig. That moves Loch to within 543-537 of Ludwig for the World Cup lead with two stops 9and three three races) remaining on the calendar.

Loch won five World Cup titles in a row from 2012-16, then again last season. He has won a seasonal World Cup medal nine seasons in a row, and at just 29, sees no reason to stop now. Egger is also not out of the championship running either, with 520 points.

Although Germany’s Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken look like they are comfortably on their way to a third seasonal title in a row and four out of five, Austria’s Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller claimed their third win of the season, ahead of Eggert and Benecken. On the season, the Germans have 810 points and Steu and Koller, 652.

The women’s racing on Sunday was limited to one run only, with a surprise winner in Italy’s Sandra Robatscher, a qualifier from her country’s national championships. She had the fastest first run at 53.932 and that was declared the winner, with Natalie Geisenberger (GER) second and another qualifier, Russia’s Viktoriia Demchenko, third. Emily Sweeney of the U.S. was fourth. Summaries:

FIL World Cup
Altenberg (GER) ~ 2-3 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Singles: 1. Felix Loch (GER), 1:48.669; 2. Reinhard Egger (AUT), 1:48.673; 3. Johannes Ludwig (GER), 1:48.780; 4. David Gleirscher (AUT), 1:48.952; 5. Semen Pavlichenko (RUS), 1:49.033. Also: 16. Jonathan Gustafson (USA), 1:49.985.

Men’s Doubles: 1. Thomas Steu/Lorenz Koller (AUT), 1:23.463; 2. Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER), 1:23.506; 3. Andris Sics/Juris Sics (LAT), 1:23.849; 4. R.J. Geueke/David Gamm (GER), 1:23.914; 5. Ivan Nagler/Fabian Malleier (ITA), 1:24.013. Also: 9. Chris Mazdzer/Jayson Terdiman (USA), 1:24.136.

Women’s Singles: 1. Sandra Robatscher (ITA), 53.932; 2. Natalie Geisenberger (GER), 54.022; 3. Viktoriia Demchenko (RUS), 54.178; 4. Emily Sweeney (USA), 54.184; 5. Andrea Voetter (ITA), 54.242. Also: 20. Summer Britcher (USA), 54.821.

Team Relay: Canceled due to bad weather.