Luge - Loch leads German domination

Germany's men ruled in the luge World Cup season opener in Austria, but there was no doubt as to who the star of the show was as Felix Loch demonstrated he is once again the man to beat.

Luge - World Cup leader Loch wins first European title

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Felix Loch, of Germany, slides

The 23-year-old headed to Innsbruck as the Olympic and reigning World Cup champion, as well as having three World Championship titles to his name.

And Loch is in no mood to let anyone steal his spotlight as he claimed victory to open up this campaign.

The German recorded a new track record of 50.098 seconds in his first run and although he couldn't improve that in his second, his total time of 1:40.229 minutes was enough for victory.

And it was certainly a day for Germany to savour as they occupied the top five spots.

David Moeller was 0.307 seconds behind Loch to finish second, with compatriot Johannes Ludwig taking third.

Andi Langenhan and Ralf Palik were close behind in fourth and fifth to give the German fans plenty to celebrate.

Reigning World Cup champions Germany then opened up the defence of their luge team relay title in superb fashion by claiming victory.

The event will make its Olympic bow in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Games and it will be hard to bet against a German victory, the team also the reigning world champions.

Last year it was Canada who opened up the season with a win with Germany in second.

But this time the quartet of Anke Wischnewski, David Moller, Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt turned the tables as they claimed the win, with Canada 0.287 seconds behind in second.

Completing the first podium of the season was Italy in third.

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