Lyde Begue and Lucas Poulain prepare to drop qualifying runs at the 2019 World Roller Games. Photo by Candy Dungan

The European tour is in full swing with the trusted Kozakov, CZ, next on the agenda. Kozakov is infamous for being a safe, well-run event full of tight racing. As the event enters its 11th year, the hill unites today’s hottest newcomers with some of the sports’ top veterans. Stay tuned to IDF as there are many upsets that could be had in the rankings this week - both for the European continental series and the World tour!

We caught up with 2018’s European Champions, Lucas Poulain, FR (Open Skate), Lyde Begue, FR (Women’s Skate), and William Stephenson, GB (Luge) to gather more insight into what we can expect from Kozakov 2019.

We're stoked to announce that Europe’s power couple, Lyde and Lucas, will be on-site at Kozakov this week. Lucas coined the event “can’t miss” and Lyde warned us that the French crew is coming into Kozakov STACKED this year! With fellow French rider Yanis Markarian on the roster, we believe her! Yanis scored a fourth place at the late World Roller Games (WRG) behind Dane Hanna, CA (1st), Harry Clarke, AU (2nd), and Oscar Rodriguez, ES (3rd)…. all of whom Lucas and Lyde mentioned as podium hopefuls… so, we see a trend here.

World Roller Games finals heat with Dane Hanna, Harry Clarke, Oscar Rodriguez, and Yanis Markarian. Photo by Aaron Hampshire.

Other racers who could pull off an Open Skateboard podium include the current top-ranked racer in the World, Chase Hiller, US as well as super grom, Nick Broms, US who just set a new track record AND won Verdicchio wqs. Veteran racers Patrick Switzer, CA and Ian Freire, BR will also be in attendance and capable of causing upsets among today's top racers.

For women’s, Lyde’s biggest competition will be Emily Pross, US and Lisa Peters, NL - both fresh off of WRG and Verdicchio final heat placements! Emily Pross continues to collect first places, but her competition is HOT on her heels! Both Lyde and Lisa were feeling Emily’s draft at WRG, so it’s safe to say that Emily is within striking distance of other top female competitors.

Vitoria Mallmann chasing Emily Pross in the World Roller Games finals heat. Photo by Aaron Hampshire.

For luge, Will Stephenson put his money on Mikel Echegaray, ES for winning Kozakov 2019 (on a buttboard) and Abdil Mahdzan, MY for coming in 2nd because “both these competitors really do have this track nailed.”

Will won’t be able to attend Kozakov this year, but he explained that his 2018 tactic was to get Mikel and Kolby Parks, CA to drink heavily the night before the race as to slow them down for race day. This didn’t pan out well for Will, but maybe it will work for one of our other luge competitors this year considering that the Kozakov party is as renowned as the event itself:

“Everyone knows that the Kozakov event isn’t just a race, but it’s also the biggest downhill party on the tour. It doesn’t matter how you do in the race, there’s always the party to win throughout the week.”

Whether you’re gunning to win the podium or the party - we’re looking forward to seeing you on-site at Kozakov 2019!

2018 top qualifier, Abdil Mahdzan of Malaysia, preparing to qualify at Kozakov 2018. Photo: Mike Girard

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This post is related to Kozakov Challenge 2019

Candy Dungan

This post was written by Candy Dungan

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