Egger gets first World Cup luge win; US medals in team relay

<p>
              Summer Britcher of the US celebrates finishing second in the women's luge world cup in Schoenau at Koenigssee, Germany, Saturday, Jan.5, 2019. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
            </p>

KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Snow piled up in Germany this weekend, and so did Summer Britcher’s medal collection.

Britcher and USA Luge got a bronze medal in a World Cup team relay Sunday, her second medal from a weekend when snow wreaked havoc on many sliders. Germany won the team relay gold, followed by Austria with the silver.

Britcher won silver in the women’s event on Saturday, and now has four medals this season. German stars Julia Taubitz (nine) and Natalie Geisenberger (seven) are the only women’s sliders to have more medals this season than Britcher.

She teamed with Tucker West and the doubles team of Chris Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman for bronze in the relay, the last event of a stormy weekend when even the host Germans lamented how conditions on one of their home tracks, at a place where they typically dominate, affected matters.

“The team relay is always my favorite race,” Britcher said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s great to have that feeling of being part of a team. I had a lot of fun racing yesterday and historically have done really well in the team relay race here. And it ended up OK.”

Reinhard Egger of Austria, in his 11th season on the World Cup circuit, got his first career win earlier Sunday in the men’s singles race, which was shortened to one run because of heavy snowfall. Dominik Fischnaller of Italy was second and Sebastian Bley of Germany was third for his first World Cup singles medal.

“It might have been better not to start the race,” said Johannes Ludwig of Germany, who was slowed by the snow and finished 20th, his worst finish in nearly three years — yet still kept his World Cup lead.

International Luge Federation officials canceled the second heat after several sliders already had made their runs, saying the snow was impeding visibility and creating a safety hazard.

West was eighth and Mazdzer ninth for the Americans in the men’s race.

The World Cup luge season continues next weekend in Sigulda, Latvia.