Road To The Olympic Games

Geisenberger leads German sweep to open luge World Cup season

Two-time defending Olympic luge champion Natalie Geisenberger led a German sweep of the top three spots in the World Cup opening race Saturday in Innsbruck, Austria, where Carolyn Maxwell was the top Canadian woman in 19th.

Carolyn Maxwell placed 19th to top 4-women Canadian team in Austria

Luger Natalie Geisenberger led a Germany sweep to open the women`s World Cup season on Saturday at Innsbruck, Austria. Geisenberger finished the two runs in one minute 19.619 seconds for her 44th World Cup victory. (Andy WongéAssociated Press)

Natalie Geisenberger's quest for a seventh straight World Cup women's overall championship is off to an excellent start.

The two-time defending Olympic luge champion led a German sweep of the top three spots in the World Cup opening race Saturday. She finished her two runs at the Igls-Innsbruck track in one minute 19.619 seconds for her 44th World Cup victory, extending her record.

Watch Natalie Geisenberger extend her record win streak:

The two-time Olympic Champion picked up right where she left off last season, capturing the gold medal in the season opening event in Innsbruck, Austria. 2:03

Julia Taubitz was second in 1:19.655, and Tatjana Huefner was third in 1:19.885 in Austria.

Carolyn Maxwell was top Canadian, finishing 19th in 1:20.413, while fellow Calgarian Brooke Apshkrum was 20th (1:20.448). Rounding out the field of 28 was Kyla Marie Graham in 27th (1:20.722) and Calgary's Makena Hodgson (1:56.545).

Austrians grab doubles gold at home

Geisenberger is aiming to become the second slider to win seven straight World Cup luge overall titles. Austria's Markus Prock won the men's points race seven straight times from 1990-91 through 1996-97.

Austria took the doubles gold on home ice, with Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller posting the fastest time in both heats and easily getting their first World Cup win in 1:19.476.

Watch Austria rule the doubles event:

FIL Luge World Cup from Innsbruck, Austria 55:48

The German team of Toni Eggert — who is racing despite a broken leg during training — and Sascha Benecken was second in 1:19.656, and the Russian duo of Vladislav Yuzhakov and Iurii Prokhorov was third in 1:19.758.

Olympic men's silver medallist Chris Mazdzer is competing in singles and doubles this season. He made his World Cup doubles debut with Jayson Terdiman, and they finished 10th for the U.S.

The men's race and the sprint events are Sunday in Innsbruck. The tour then continues next weekend in Whistler, British Columbia, with racing on Nov. 30 (doubles, men's singles) and Dec. 1 (women, team relay).

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