MOSCOW. After the races in Kühtai (AUT) and Latsch/Laces (ITA), the next round of the GRM Group Luge World Cup on Natural Track will take place in Russia, more precisely: in Moscow, where the races will be held from January 13th to 15th.

At the race track in Vorobyevy Gory (“Sparrow Hills”), situated near the center of the Russian capital, the Russian athletes will of course be highly motivated. Firstly, because they have a home advantage, and secondly, because they have shown great performances last season in Moscow. At the doubles’ event, two pairings from Russia, Aleksandr Egorov/Petr Popov and Aleksei Martianov/Ivan Rodin, managed to reach the podium – only the later World Cup Champions Patrick Pigneter/Florian Clara (ITA) were able to beat the Russians. Ekaterina Lavrentyeva was successful at the women’s event, while at the men’s competition there has even been a double victory for the Russians: Aleksandr Egorov has won the race ahead of his teammate Juri Talikh.

In this season, the Russian athletes also have shown quite good performances so far, although there is still room for improvement: Gregori Bukin, who has reached the fourth place last year in Moscow, was second at the Parallel Race in Kühtai, while the Russian pairing Pavel Porshnev/Ivan Lazarev ranked third in Kühtai as well as in Latsch/Laces. But the winners came from other countries – in Latsch/Laces, for instance, especially the Italians demonstrated their skills, they won the women’s event, the men’s event and the team competition. At the doubles’ event, an Austrian pairing triumphed: Rupert Brüggler and Tobias Angerer celebrated their first ever victory in a world cup race. But the athletes know that the race in Russia will be special. The current World Cup Leader Patrick Pigneter, for example, is sure: “Moscow is a tough place, it will not be easy to beat the Russians there.”

After a break of twelve years, it’s the second time in a row now that a world cup race will be held in Moscow. The track, however, is special in several ways: Firstly, it’s located at the center of the city, not far away from the Lushniki stadium, where in 1980 the Summer Olympic Games took place. Secondly, the track is very short, with a total length of just 520 meters. This will be a special challenge for the athletes as well as the Pursuit Race, which will be executed in Russia for the first time in this world cup season. In this kind of competition, the main goal is similar to that of a Parallel Race: To reach the next round, the athletes must win over their respective opponents in duels, until there are only six athletes left. These six athletes will be classified in the conventional way. It will be interesting to see who will stand on the podium in the end this time.

Friday, January 13th
11:00 World Cup Qualification Run Men (Nations Cup) (1)
12:15 World Cup Qualification Run Women (Nations Cup) (1)
13:00 World Cup Qualification Run Doubles (1)
14:00 Final Run Doubles (2)
14:40 Flower Ceremony for the WC Doubles
14:50 Ceremony of the Nations Cup Men/Women and Ceremony for the WC Doubles

Saturday, January 14th
12:00 Final Run (Men) (2), Flower ceremony of the WC Men
13:00 Final Run (Women) (2), Flower ceremony of the WC Women
14:00 Pursuit Doubles, Flower Ceremony
15:00 Ceremony of the WC Men/Women and WC Pursuit Doubles

Sunday, January 15th
12:00 Pursuit Men/Women
Ceremony of the WC Pursuit Men/Women
Closing Ceremony