Luge - World Cup leader Loch wins first European title

Felix Loch claimed his third win of the luge World Cup season and first career European title as Germany dominated the men's event much like they did the women's on home ice in on Oberhof.

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Luge - World Cup leader Loch wins first European title
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Felix Loch, of Germany, slides

The 23-year-old defending World Cup champion has been as consistent as ever this season with four top-three finishes, including two wins, ahead of round six and the fourth on German soil.

However, of those two wins, the last came two rounds ago in Altenberg at the start of December yet any thinking that Loch, who was fourth last time out, was slipping was proved wrong in Oberhof.

For he put in a record-breaking performance to take the win, and European title with the round doubling up as the continental championships, ahead of Andi Langenhan and Johannes Ludwig.

With Natalie Geisenberger winning the women's even ahead of fellow Germans Tatjana Hufner and Anke Wischnewski, the men's result ensured the nation dominated back-to-back events in Oberhof.

Olympic and world champion Loch got off to the perfect start on home ice, breaking the start record on his first run which also saw him go on to set a new track record of 43.512seconds.

That put Loch, whose start was 7.113, well ahead of Russian Albert Demchenko in second with his teammate Semen Pavlichenko occupying third before the first German Langenhan.

And, while Loch didn't match his first-run efforts second time out, he didn't get knocked off top spot with his time of 43.745 giving him an overall winning time of 1:27.257.

It was all change behind him though as defending European champion Langenhan jumped up to second after clocking 43.807 while Ludwig moved from fifth to third after a 43.913.

Langenhan was 0.390 off Loch with Ludwig a further 0.129 adrift while Demchenko fell four places to sixth and Pavlichenko one place to fourth overall after poor second outings.

Meanwhile Britain's two-time Olympian Adam Rosen was back in action also and he placed 27th overall after posting runs of 44.554 and 44.496 for a time of 1:29.050 overall.

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