Erin Hamlin’s season got off to a winning start.
Hamlin, the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist, won the Lillehammer Cup women’s luge race Saturday by rallying in her second run and topping Germany’s Julia Orlamuender by nearly one-tenth of a second.
Hamlin, of Remsen, New York, posted a combined time of 1 minute, 37.643 seconds. Orlamuender was 0.094 seconds back, with Italy’s Andrea Voetter third and Julia Clukey of Augusta, Maine placing fourth.
The Lillehammer Cup is an unofficial event that capped a week of preseason training for sliders from several nations.
“It was nice to be back in a racing atmosphere,” Hamlin said. “The first sessions on ice have gone really well. My mission with this trip was just to get comfortable on the sled again and get into the sliding mode. I hadn’t been on a sled since the relay competition in Sochi, which was the longest break I’ve ever had, so the adjustment phase was important.”
Hamlin was second after the first run, trailing the rising German star Orlamuender by about two-tenths of a second. But Orlamuender wasn’t able to find the same speed in her second run while Hamlin remained consistent, and that was enough.
“Everything came together really well and I just aimed to be consistent and comfortable,” Hamlin said. “The runs weren’t ideal, considering I had really good training most of the time.
“First run my lines at the top of the track were a little bit off, which costs a lot here. Second run was a lot better, but I had to work a little bit harder for the clean run than I would have liked to.”
Dominik Fischnaller of Italy topped Latvia’s Kristaps Maurins by 0.001 seconds to win the men’s race, rallying in the second run to prevail in 1:40.118. For the U.S., Tucker West was sixth in 1:40.494, and Chris Mazdzer had a mistake at the end of his second run to fall to 16th.
In doubles, the Latvian team of Andris Sics and Juris Sics prevailed in 1:36.837. Matt Mortensen and Jayson Terdiman were seventh for the U.S., about a second off the winning pace.
The Americans are scheduled to start on-ice training at their home facility in Lake Placid, New York on Oct. 18.