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Day One of the Sixth Viessmann World Cup

Canada's National Luge team got back into Olympic preparations with this weekend's Sixth Viessmann World Cup. This is the first World Cup event since the Christmas break.

In the doubles event held earlier today, Calgary's Chris Moffat and Airdrie's Eric Pothier finished a strong seventh, only 0.717 off the gold medal pace. The result puts the duo back in the top ten in the world.

"I feel that our race today was a step in the right direction," said Calgary's Chris Moffat. "Although our two runs were not the best we've ever had, Eric and I are happy with how our sled performed on this track because Sigulda is very similar to Salt Lake City; both tracks need the athlete to maintain a good rhythm down the track."

"We didn't have really great runs today," added Airdrie's Eric Pothier, "but I suppose we can't complain about a seventh place finish with the runs we had. However we are maintaining our consistency from heat to heat, and are feeling pretty good about the quality of our sliding as we get closer to the Olympics."

The other Canadian team of Grant Albrecht and Mike Moffat finished seventeenth.

"I did the best I could, but it just wasn't good enough today," said a disappointed Grant Albrecht. "Hopefully, our best will give us better results next week."

The German duo of Steffen Skel and Steffen W├Âlle won gold, establishing a three-race undefeated streak on the track at Sigulda. The victory has helped to consolidate their second place in the over all World Cup standings. Austria's Markus and Tobias Schiegl took the silver medal and Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin, of the United States, captured the bronze medal.

In the women's event, Canada's Regan Lauscher finished fifteenth. "I can't say that I'm disappointed with my performance, although fifteenth is definitely not the result I wanted," said Lauscher. "However, training went very well all week and I feel my sliding is pretty much where it should be with three weeks to go to the Games."

The race was won by Germany's Olympic champion, Silke Kraushaar, in a time of 1:26.437. This is Kraushaar's nineteenth Viessmann World Cup victory in four years. Latvia's Anna Orlova delighted the home crowd with her silver medal performance and Austria's Angelika Neuner took the bronze medal.

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Source: Jennifer Pashniak, CLA
Information: Tim Farstad, CLA-OLTC, (403) 616-1397 or tfarstad@coda.ab.ca