Which Brazilian will take the crown?

Thiago Gomes Lessa, Max Ballesteros, Carlos Paixão Pics: Harfang & Arne Valen
Thiago Gomes Lessa, Max Ballesteros, Carlos Paixão Pics: Harfang & Arne Valen

Who will win the World Championship? The safe bet is a Brazilian; with only the South American tour left to go all top three spots are held by this year's Olympic hosts:

1. Max Ballesteros
2. Carlos Paixão
3. Thiago Gomes Lessa

The stage is set for an epic home-turf battle as the last two World Cup races of the year will be in Brazil, and will almost certainly decide the overall winner. Let's look a closer look at the numbers.

Although Max Ballesteros is currently in top spot, both Carlos Paixão and Thiago Gomes Lessa have the advantage as they each have only four WCs included in their tally instead of the maximum five. A good result for either of them in either of the last two WCs would be included in their final tally at the expense of one of their WQS results - and that's a big points difference.

Coloradon Aaron Hampshire is lurking in fifth spot, and he'll be in Brazil to take a shot at the title. Like Carlos and Thiago he also has only four WCs included in his tally and so has an outside chance to storm home if results fall his way.

Emily Pross at Kozakov 2016
Emily Pross at Kozakov 2016 Pic: CGSA Downhill

In Womens there are only two words to say: Emily Pross. She has been beyond dominant this year, winning all nine races she has entered, and built an unassailable lead in the points race several months ago.

In Juniors Ed Kiefer holds a slim lead over Knox Heslop after the two Americans battled each other all year long. If Knox goes to Brazil the title may be his for the taking.

In Masters Australian Ben Hay leads Pete Connoly of the UK, but if Pete attends the South American tour he'll almost certainly rack up enough points to win...unless Ben Hay also attends and consistently beats him.

In Luge, Malaysian Abdil Mahdzan has one hand on the trophy, and the other hand isn't far away either. But it's not a 100% sure thing - if second-placed Kolby Parks wins the last three races of the year he'll tie with Abdil for the World Championship. It sounds like a long shot, but if Abdil sits out the South American tour Kolby would have a strong chance of winning those three races and taking a half share in the World Championship.