Huge final week of 2014/15 gets underway with Tignes halfpipe
TIGNES, FRA – It's a huge final week of the 2014/15 World Cup season for FIS Freestyle this week, with halfpipe, ski cross, moguls, and slopestyle competitions all set to take place between now and next Monday.
The action gets started midweek, with qualifiers taking place on Wednesday and finals on Thursday at the last stop of the 2014/15 halfpipe World Cup tour in Tignes, France.
We are fresh off one of the best halfpipe competitions of the year in Park City, USA, where Gus Kenworthy (USA) put down what is being touted by many as the best halfpipe run of all-time to take the men's win, and Ayana Onozuka (JPN) stepped up her game to claim her first major victory on the ladies' side.
Onozuka's win was enough to put her in a tie for top spot on the ladies' World Cup leader board with Janina Kuzma (NZL), with Devin Logan (USA) being the next closest competitor to those two at 30 points back.
While there are four other ladies within striking distance of top spot, recent history tells us that the 2014/15 World Cup title is likely to come down to a best-result-wins shootout between Onozuka and Kuzma, with Logan the dark horse candidate to steal the honours.
For the men, Kenworthy sits in second on the World Cup leaderboard, 20 points behind his compatriot David Wise (USA), who came third in Park City last week. While there are a number of scenarios that could play out in regards to the men's rankings, what we do know is that Kenworthy will need another excellent performance in Tignes to best Wise in the competition, vault ahead of him on the leaderboard, and stay ahead of the pack to win the race for the men's halfpipe globe.
Others to watch in Tignes include a number of home-grown athletes, including Kevin Rolland and Benoit Valentin on the men's side and Marie Martinod in ladies' competition. Always a threat to win a competition, Martinod is undortunately too far back to have hopes of winning the ladies' globe on home soil this week. However, both Rolland and Valentin are still very much in the hunt, and will be looking to have big performances on home soil to give themselves a chance at the prize.
The Tignes halfpipe World Cup is being held in conjunction with the highly-regarded SFR Freestyle tour, and will serve also as the final stop of four for the France-centric series.
With 22 of the best ladies' and 23 of the best men of the halfpipe world on hand to battle for a myriad of awards and $45000 in prize money, one of the best halfpipes in Europe at their disposal, and a week's weather forecast that predicts sun and spring-like temperatures throughout training and competition, all the ingredients are in place for the Tignes halfpipe World Cup competition to start a jam-packed final week of the season in epic style.