Defending champion Francesco Friedrich got his two-man bobsleigh World Cup campaign off to the perfect start with victory in Sigulda.

Germany's reigning Olympic and world champion, alongside brakeman Thorsten Margis, won in a combined time of 1:39.23 seconds, a mere 0.04 ahead of compatriot Johannes Lochner who finished in 1:39.27.

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Lochner set a new track record of 49.51 seconds with Christian Rasp in the first run but the World Championship runner-up could not defend a narrow lead on his second run, with Friedrich's time of 49.64 edging him to the victory.

Switzerland's Michael Vogt and Sandro Michel finished two tenths behind in third with a time of 1:39.49.

German Christoph Hafer, alongside Christian Hammers, finished fourth while Austria's Ralfs Berzins came fifth.

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