Olympic luge champ Geisenberger wins WCup opener

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IGLS, Austria (AP) German lugers Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken won the men's doubles at the World Cup season-opener Saturday after compatriot Natalie Geisenberger took the women's race.

Eggert and Benecken won both runs in difficult conditions as temperatures of up to 15 C (59 F) had softened the ice on the 1976 Olympic track. They finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 19.330 seconds for their fifth World Cup win.

Vladislav Yuzhakov and Vladimir Prokhorov of Russia came 0.505 behind in second, and Austrian pair Peter Penz and Georg Fischler were another 0.020 back in third.

Double Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt of Germany missed out on the podium in fourth, 0.530 behind the winners.

Austrian brothers Andreas and Wolfgang Linger, who won Olympic gold twice in 2006-10 and retired in the offseason, made the final run of their careers as forerunners to say goodbye to their home crowd.

Earlier, Geisenberger led a German 1-2-3-4 finish in the opening women's race.

The Olympic and two-time World Cup champion posted the fastest time in both runs and clocked an aggregate 1 minute, 19.822 seconds to beat Dajana Eitberger, a former junior world champion, by 0.209.

Tatjana Huefner was 0.218 behind in third, and Anke Wischnewski trailed Geisenberger by 0.268 in fourth.

Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin of the United States was 11th after the opening run but improved to fifth in the final run, more than 0.5 seconds off the lead.

The men's singles and a new sprint event are scheduled for Sunday.