Germany's Wendl, Arlt win luge World Cup doubles title
Penz and Fischler of Austria finished 2nd
World champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany wrapped up the luge World Cup doubles title Friday with a victory on the Mount Van Hoevenberg course.
Wendl and Arlt completed the two runs in combined time of 1 minute, 28.256 seconds to finish 0.131 seconds ahead of Peter Penz and Georg Fischler of Austria. The Italian team of Christain Oberstolz and Patrick Gruber was third.
It was the sixth victory in eight World Cup events this season for Wendl and Arlt. They captured the world championship title last weekend at Whistler, British Columbia. Wendl and Arlt were the World Cup winners in 2010-11.
Wendl and Arlt were able to lock up their second championship when their German teammates, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, finished seventh. Eggert and Benecken needed to finish third or better to stay in contention for the title at the final event at Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 23-24.
"We didn't expect to win the overall World Cup here in Lake Placid," Arlt said. "It's a hard track and very difficult for all teams because we don't have many runs here. We are very happy about the win and winning the overall."
Wendl and Arlt crashed during training earlier in the week and did not take the final two of the six available runs. Wendl cut his chin, and their sled was damaged in the mishap. Despite those problems, they had the fastest run in the first heat, 44.155 seconds and the second-fastest in the final run, 44.101 seconds.
"It was a really hard race today," Wendl said. "The conditions were not so good, the track was bumpy and for doubles this is one of the hardest tracks in the world. They weren't perfect runs, but they were OK runs and that was the way to win."
Wendl and Arlt captured the world championship title last weekend on the 2010 Olympic track at Whistler, British Columbia.
The U.S. was led by Matthew Mortensen of Huntington Station, N.Y., and Preston Griffall of Salt Lake City, Utah, who were sixth, .657 seconds behind the winners with their top finish of the season. Mortensen and Griffall were sixth after the first run and had the eighth-best time of the second heat.
"Those runs were the definitely the best runs we've had in all of training," Mortensen said. "We had two nice, clean exits out the key corner, curve 12. The first run was real sweet. The second run we worked for a lot more. We definitely had to make it work. It wasn't as free-flowing as the first one. From the start to the finish we really, really worked hard for that second run."
Mortensen and Griffall are 11th in the overall World Cup standings entering the season finale on the 2014 Winter Olympics track at Sochi.
The second U.S. team of Jake Hyrns, 19, of Muskegon, Mich. and Andrew Sherk, 20, of Fort Washington, Pa., in its first full season on the World Cup tour, finished eighth.