Natalie Geisenberger won the women's event on day one of the World Cup season ©Getty Images

Natalie Geisenberger won the opening women's race of the International Luge Federation World Cup season as the campaign began with typical German dominance in Innsbruck.

The 29-year-old double Olympic gold medallist led a clean sweep of the podium for her country at the Olympic Sliding Centre in the Austrian city.

Geisenberger, a seven-time world champion who is hoping to win her sixth successive overall World Cup crown this term, failed to win a medal at this year's World Championships which were also held in Innsbruck.

But she began the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic season in style by clocking 1min 20.488sec after her two runs for gold.

"The first World Cup weekend of the season is always interesting and exciting," said Geisenberger, who now boasts 39 World Cup wins.

"Of course, it's always great when it ends with a win."

Dajana Eitberger was second for Germany with a time of 1:20.661 as reigning world champion Tatjana Hüfner came third in 1:20.664.

Eitberger and Hüfner, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic champion, were only fifth and eighth respectively after the first runs before recovering to reach the podium within three thousandths of a second of each other.

American Erin Hamlin, who won sprint gold at this year's World Championships, was second after run one but a mistake second time around saw her finish 21st.

There was also a notable World Cup debut for the daughter of luge legend Armin Zöggeler, with 16-year-old Nina Zöggeler finishing 15th for Italy.

Germany swept the women's podium as the season began in typical dominant fashion ©Getty Images
Germany swept the women's podium as the season began in typical dominant fashion ©Getty Images

Aileen Frisch, the German born slider who has switched to South Korea in order to compete for the host nation at Pyeongchang 2018, came 19th.

The first doubles competition was also held today with reigning world champions and World Cup winners Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken continuing German superiority. 

They were timed at 1:19.843 to begin the new season on a positive note.

Ludwig Rieder and Patrick Rastner of Italy were the only non-Germans to reach a podium today as they won silver in 1:20.021.

Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, the Olympic champions, won bronze on 1:20.258.

"Of course, everyone hopes to start the season with a win," said Benecken.

"After all, we have been always been really successful here in the past. 

"People have said this track is like our own living room. 

"Now it's winter, the sun is shining, there's snow on the ground and we’ve won. 

"I think that’s great."

The men's event and the team relay will be held tomorrow.