Lauscher disqualified over decal

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:34 PM ET

Reagan Lauscher was sitting pretty until the luge gods decided to interfere.

The Red Deer slider found herself disqualified last night from the Viessmann Luge World Cup at Canada Olympic Park after a sticker came off the bottom of her sled near the finish line on her first run, meaning an automatic disqualification under International Luge Federation rules.

The 25-year-old would have been fourth with a two-run time of one minute 33.899 seconds and was angered by race director Reg Lichtenfeld's decision.

"Proof or not, it's an embarrassment to the Calgary officials," said Lauscher, who was notified after her second run.

"I didn't cheat. I didn't do anything that put my competitors at a disadvantage, so in my opinion, I think it's a bad call."

The spirit of the FIL rule is to ensure no athlete tries to gain an advantage by adding extra weight to the sled and getting rid of it before the finish line.

Lauscher said she respects and understands the rules and, in the end, she still takes away a boost of confidence as the Olympics in Turin, Italy, Feb. 10-26, draw nearer.

"I had a good race for my confidence. I needed that race to feel that I can go to Turin and not just show up," Lauscher, who captured a silver medal last season at Lake Placid, N.Y.

Germany swept the podium as Silke Kraushaar won the gold, her 26th World Cup win, in 1:33.613 seconds, followed by Tatjana Hufner in 1:33.641 and Barbara Niedernhuber in 1:33.733. It was Germany's 60th World Cup win in a row.

Calgary's Alex Gough, 18, finished 11th, for her best World Cup result, while Madison Dupuis was 14th.

Meanwhile, in doubles, the podium was so close yet so far away for the Moffat boys.

Heading into the second run last night, Calgarians Chris and Mike Moffat were just nine-hundredths of a second from the podium.

But after their last run, they found themselves in sixth place as they faltered on a track they've slid down hundreds, if not thousands, of times.

Americans Mark Grimette and Brian Martin were first with a two-run combined time of 1:27.912 seconds, followed by Latvia's Andris and Juris Sics in 1:27.974.

Finishing third were Austria's Tobias and Markus Schiegl with a time of 1:28.032.

The Moffats were disappointed after their clocking of 1:28.347.

"It's pretty hard and it cuts deep but there'll be other races," said Chris, adding there wasn't added pressure for Run 2 knowing they were so close to Canada's first ever doubles podium.

"It's just another run for us and that's the mindset for us. If you start making it up into something it's not, that's when you have problems."

The brothers have already qualified for the Turin Olympics, so they're looking forward to improving and hopefully bringing back a medal.

Meanwhile Grant Albrecht of Red Deer and Airdrie's Eric Pothier finished ninth in 1:28.483.

The event continues today with the men's singles and team events starting at 3 p.m.

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BRIGHT FUTURE: Calgary's Andrea Petersen didn't take long to make a splash on the junior luge World Cup circuit.

The 16-year-old competed in her first event yesterday in La Plagne, France, and came away with the bronze medal.

"This felt really great," said the jubilant youngster.

"I felt relaxed going into the competition and I was really excited about my finish."


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