Lueders pilots Canada to another gold medal

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:20 PM ET

It was the 200th World Cup race of his career and Pierre Lueders made it memorable.

After Lueders and David Bissett won World Cup two-man gold on the same track Thursday, in a make-up race rescheduled from an event wiped out by weather earlier in the season, they returned to do it again yesterday.

"It just made it nicer to win and more of something to remember," said the Edmonton driver, who once again got it done with his young Edmonton brakeman after a season of thrills and spills and no podium positions.

"Getting to 200 races when you are in a sport where you only get about eight events a year, if nothing else, tells you that you've been around a long time," said the 38-year-old pilot who claimed his 27th World Cup victory and 87th World Cup medal in his career which also includes eight world championships and Olympic gold and silver medals. Those numbers make him, arguably, the most successful Olympic sport athlete in Canadian history.

Inside the sport, this win had a bit bigger bang than the one two days earlier as well.

"It doubles as the European Championship. It's a big deal over here. It's important to these guys and I'm sure they put more into this one than they did the make-up race. They take the North American results out of it. The highest placed sled is the European Champion. So they were all going hard," he said of the event within the event won by Andre Lange in Germany 1 who beat everybody else but the Canadians.

"This race was a lot closer. It was a little tighter race," he said in a telephone interview from the event at the birthplace of the sport in St. Moritz, Switzerland, yesterday.

Today he'll compete in the St. Moritz four-man event which also doubles as the European Championship.

Lueders, who was disqualified from one race for an overweight sled and who missed another event this year due to injury, has decided to race a Europa Cup event in Europe to pick up some more points before heading home to the next World Cup event, scheduled for the Olympic course in Whistler, B.C.

Despite the fact his troubles earlier this year all resulted from a crash at Whistler in which he turned the sled over and had the four Canadians going down the course on their helmets, Lueders should be favoured in the Vancouver 2010 test event.

He's had 70 runs on the track and only the German team, with about six trips down the exceedingly fast facility, have had any runs at all.

"I'm looking forward to getting back there," he said. "It helps that I'm driving better now. And I'm looking forward to how challenging it's going to be for the world there. It could be a huge advantage for me if I do it right."


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