LUGE Preview: Innsbruck hosts the season opener

The 2018-19 FIL World Cup season will get started this weekend with competition at Innsbruck (AUT) with the standard races plus a Sprint competition. This is the first of nine legs that will end next February in Sochi (RUS).

There have been the normal retirements, changes in teams and new faces, but many of the top teams from last season are expected to be back again. The leaders from 2017-18:

1. 923 Felix Loch (GER)
2. 838 Wolfgang Kindl (AUT)
3. 774 Roman Repilov (RUS)

1. 1,120 Natalie Geisenberger (GER)
2. 754 Dajana Eitberger (GER)
3. 726 Summer Britcher (USA)

1. 1,170 Toni Eggert/Sascha Benecken (GER)
2. 911 Tobias Wendl/Tobias Arlt (GER)
3. 836 Peter Penz/Georg Fischler (AUT)

The winners were no strangers to fans of the sport. Loch won his sixth career title and sixth in seven years; Geisenberger won her sixth title in a row, and Eggert and Benecken won their second straight and third in their last four. Wendl and Arlt also are four-time champions.

The top U.S. entries will be national champions Chris Mazdzer – Olympic silver medalist in PyeongChang – and Britcher in the Singles races, and Mazdzer and Jayson Terdiman in Doubles.

NBCSN has taped coverage on Saturday at 10 p.m. Eastern time. Look for results here.