Johannes Ludwig claimed his first-ever International Luge Federation World Cup victory ©Getty Images

Germany's Johannes Ludwig claimed his first-ever International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup victory as the men's season opened on his home track in Winterberg.

The 30-year-old clocked a combined time of 1min 44.732sec to finally experience standing on top of the podium.

Ludwig, the World Championship bronze medallist in 2013 and a double European medallist, edged Russia's Roman Repilov who finished in a time of 1:44.921 after his two runs for silver.

Andi Langenhan won another medal for Germany as he took the bronze medal in 1:44.977.

That meant Felix Loch, Germany's triple Olympic champion and the winner of the past five overall World Cup titles, had to settle for fourth place.

The 12-time world champion finished with a time of 1:45.029 as rain and sleet made sliding difficult.

"I want to thank my wife for her support, my coach Jan Eichhorn, and my mechanic Robert Eschrich," said Ludwig, whose father won doubles gold at the 1979 European Championships.

"I’d almost got to the point where I thought I would never win a race. 

"But maybe I’m like wine - I’m getting better with age."

Dajana Eitberger won the women's sprint race ©Getty Images
Dajana Eitberger won the women's sprint race ©Getty Images

Sprint World Cup races - which count to the overall standings - were also contested today across the three categories.

Loch won the men's event in 36.529sec, with Stephan Fedorov and Ludwig following in second and third.

It means Ludwig leads the men's standings with 170 points, with Loch second on 160.

Dajana Eitberger of Germany won the women's sprint race in 39.119sec with Austria's Birgit Platzer second.

Germany's Natalie Geisenberger, who won the opening regular women's World Cup race yesterday, was third as she seeks a fifth consecutive overall crown.

The double Olympic gold medallist and Eitberger are tied on 170 points at the top of the standings.

In the doubles sprint, Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken backed up their victory yesterday by coming out on top again in 31.347sec.

An all German 1-2-3 was completed by defending World Cup champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt and Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm respectively.

Eggert and Benecken lead the overall standings with the maximum possible tally of 200.

The FIL World Cup season will now move to Lake Placid in the United States, beginning on December 2.