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The highly contested European leg of the IDF World Series kicks off with a brand world cup new race, King’s Gate in Austria. Followed almost immediately, with only a day of rest with Kozakov Challenge. After these two world cups, the European leg will conclude with two Italian WQSes, Verdicchio and Capionato del Mondo. These four races will be the most hotly contested races in the World Series. Every contender for the series championship will be racing the two world cups, with most of them also fighting over the two WQSes to earn the bonus points.

Ryan Farmer, hot off a streak of four wins, including a sweep of South America is hitting his stride. He currently sits on top of the rankings. With a win at one of the few World Cups this year, Farmer sits in the driver’s seat. With three World Cups left, it is still mathematically anyone’s game, but one more win for Farmer will almost cement the win for him.
Defending World Champion Abdil Mahdzan is “a half game behind” Farmer. With only one World Cup to Farmer’s two, Mahdzan is essentially tied with Farmer except for that fourth race. But he has yet to be beaten this year! Two podiums for Mahdzan in Europe might put him on top. And he hasn’t missed the podium in four years!
Will Stephenson is returning after taking some time off. A couple of early races has helped Stephenson shake the cobwebs off, but he has some work to do. He has taken second in his first two races, losing only to the top two challengers. Stephenson almost has to win both World Cups to have a chance at this year Series.
Last year’s World Champion Runner Up Kolby Parks has yet to race this year. Europe is a critical for Parks, and he will find himself coming from behind in a must win situation. Parks may need some help from the party crashers to have a shot at the title.
The top four contenders won’t be the only ones trying to podium in Europe, there is also a the party crashers, a group that has a chance to win in Europe but won’t participate in enough races to contend for the title.
Former World Champion Peter Eliot will be racing Kings Gate and will be a person to reckon with. Eliot took second in his previous two outings. Eliot doesn’t race often, but he does race well.
Another Former World Champion Mikel Echegaray will be making the most of his few races and will try to show everyone he is still one of the best lugers in the world. He will be tough to beat in Kozakov, where he holds the course record and has won five times in the last six years.
Andrej Llič, winner of the consolation in Kozakov last year, will be itching to get on the podium at a World Cup. He has gained some confidence since winning Campionato del Mondo last year, and will make it very difficult for the top contenders. Especially as he tries to defend his title in Telo.
George Cheeseman, another rider who has slowly been gaining confidence. He has been in the semi finals at most of his races in the last few years, and is hungry to break into the final. Expect Cheeseman to give the contenders fits as well.
With the best three out of five World Cups counting towards the series, and two of the three Cups left in Europe, the series will be decided in Europe. Anyone still has a chance, and while it will probably take a podium at all three Cups to win, the competition will be so fierce in Europe it may be the eventual winner doesn’t podium in Europe!
Can Farmer extend his winning streak? Will Mahdzan remain unbeaten? Can anyone beat Echegaray at Kozakov? Can Stephenson finish higher than 2nd? The two most exciting weeks of the street luge season are just ahead!

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