The early frontrunners in the International Luge Federation (FIL) World Cup standings will look to continue their strong starts to the campaign in the coming days as Lake Placid in the United States plays host to the second round of the season.
Germany’s Dajana Eitberger and Natalie Geisenberger share the lead in the women’s rankings on 170 points after the season-opening World Cup and Sprint World Cup on home ice in Winterberg.
Compatriot Johannes Ludwig has a slender advantage in the men’s event on 170 points, while Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, also of Germany, hold a commanding lead in the men’s doubles event with a maximum score of 200.
Germany’s head coach Norbert Loch has said his team is full of confidence ahead of the visit to the village in New York that has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
The third race of the season in each of the three disciplines is due to take place on the artificial ice track at Mount Van Hoevenberg tomorrow and Saturday (December 3).
The US’s Erin Hamlin, a surprise World Championship gold medallist in Lake Placid in 2009, triumphed last year ahead of countrywomen Emily Sweeney and Summer Britcher.
Sweeney, Britcher and fellow American Raychel Germaine are all carrying injuries and are not 100 per cent fit.
Among those looking to capitalise on their struggles will be Austria’s Birgit Platzer, who secured her county’s first podium finish since February 2009 by taking the runners-up spot at the Sprint World Cup in Winterberg.
In the men’s event, US hopes rest with Chris Mazdzer and Tucker West, both of whom have won races in the past two seasons.
Germany’s Felix Loch claimed World Championship gold in Lake Placid in 2009, but a World Cup win in the village that hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics continues to elude him.
In the men’s doubles event, the German pairings of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt and Robin Johannes Geueke and David Gamm are likely to be close challengers to Eggert and Benecken, as they were in Winterberg.
The German clean sweep at last month’s event was the nation’s first since in Oberhof in 2010.
The team relay World Cup is also set to feature on the programme in Lake Placid, making its debut for the season.