Despite Mother Nature’s fury, it’s already been a fascinating and historic weekend of racing on the famed Eagle River Derby track, but Sunday’s 3 p.m. World Championship final is what it’s all about. Dreams will be realized, hearts will be broken and one person will lift the Snow Goer Cup about their head, signifying that they are the 57th World Champion at Eagle River, Wisconsin.

But, for the first time ever, that person won’t necessarily be a dude!

More than 30 racers signed up to race the Pro Champ class and sliced and diced through qualifying races all weekend. Two-time defending champion Blaine Stephenson earned the first spot on the front row for Sunday’s World Championship by winning a weather-delayed Sweet 16 final Saturday afternoon. Then Saturday night the rest of the field was set through 9 quarterfinal and three semi final races.

In the end, 10 folks qualified for the front row — and what a field it is! It features the first woman EVER to qualify for the big dance in Sabrina Blanchet from Quebec. It includes two two-time champions in Blaine Stephenson and Nick Van Strydonk — with Stephenson looking to become the first in the event’s long history to win three straight. It includes first timers, like Blanchet, Nick LaGoy, Matt Goede, Filipe Roy-Lalonde and Justin Peterson. And, it has very fast veteran racers like points champ Gunnar Sterne, Colt Dellandrea and Travis MacDonald looking for their first World Championsip title. Two more racers will be added in a Sunday LCQ race — they’ll start on the back row.

As a part of the tradition, Snow Goer produces an annual Tip Sheet that is distributed at the facility, with fictional odds on each front-row starter. Our picks are in the captions below. Make your picks in our Fantasy Snowmobile Racing Challenge game, or sidebets with your friends, and then check back Sunday night on Snowgoer.com for the event’s most complete coverage.

Blaine Stephenson, #102, from Hutchinson, Minnesota. The two-time defending champion has been the class of the field this weekend and won the specialty Sweet 16 race. However, nobody’s has ever three-peated, proving that it’s not easy! ODDS: 2:1
Nick Van Strydonk, #13 from Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He’s been super-fast in qualifying, with only Stephenson beating him. He announced last spring that this would be his last season — the 2012 and 2017 champ could end his career on top. ODDS: 3:1
Gunnar Sterne, #220 from West Chicago, Illinois. He had engine problems in the Sweet 16 race and hasn’t been great so far this weekend, but don’t overlook the two-time defending national points champion — he’s one of the best drivers out there. ODDS: 5-1.
Matt Goede, #28 from Mayer, Minnesota. He’s a first-time qualifier for the big World Championship, but earned a Vintage World title on this same track last weekend and is the sentimental favorite of many. ODDS: 6:1
Colt Dellandrea, #53 from Sundridge, Ontario. This veteran racer decided very late to make one more run at the Championship in Eagle River. He’s fast, and could surprise! ODDS: 7-1
Travis MacDonald, #8, from Gonor, Manitoba. He has lookeed very fast sometimes this weekend, but has been mid-pack at other times. ODDS: 7-1.
Nick LaGoy, #7NY from Morrisonville, New York. The only Cat racer in the field, he was quick early in the weekend but his sled seemed lethargic in his semi-final. ODDS: 8-1.
Filipe Roy-Lalonde, #48 from St-Jud, Quebec. He’s been a holeshot king out here in Eagle. If he gets an early jump again and holds it, he’d be the first Quebec winner since Villeneuve. ODDS: 8-1
Justin Peterson, #39X from Camblesport, Wisconsin. This first-time qualfier showed impressive speed Saturday night but will need some luck to win. ODDS: 9-1.
Sabrina Blanchet, #79 Ski-Doo from Drummondville, Quebec. She’s the first women ever to qualify, has won many vintage titles at Eagle but has never run a 25 lapper. Will she survive and thrive? ODDS: 10-1

Editor’s Note: Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door 6 times per year for a low cost.

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