Ledeux and Hall claim victory in Silvaplana slopestyle
Silvaplana (SUI) - The sixth incarnation of the Silvaplana slopestyle World Cup took to the pristinely-shaped Corvatsch terrain park on Saturday in Switzerland, with France’s 16-year-old phenom Tess Ledeux and rising USA star Alex Hall claiming victory under some shifting weather conditions at the 3300 meter resort.
The day at Corvatsch began brilliantly, with sun and blue skies greeting the riders in the morning - just what the ladies were looking for after having their qualifiers postponed the previous day due to some tough conditions.
And, with the course perfectly prepared and some of the world’s top freeskiers champing at the bit to get down to it, the ladies’ qualies showcased some impressive runs, with the USA’s Julia Kass leading the way into finals, followed by Elena Gaskin (CAN), and PyeongChang 2018 Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hoefflin. Unfortunately for Hoefflin, a fall in training for the finals would keep her out of the competition, opening the door for some of the other ladies to step up and shoot for top spot on the podium.
Ledeux smooth and stylish for first victory of 2017/18
Best of the bunch would be Ledeux, as the Sierra Nevada 2017 world champion put down a sparkling run, with her final jump switch left-side bio 900 mute perhaps the standout trick of the ladies’ competition and her final score of 89.60 putting her nearly five points clear of the next closest competitor.
‘’I’m super happy to be on top of the podium and super happy with this win,” Ledeux smiled from the finish area, “And I’m stoked for the fellow ladies for being part of what was an excellent freeskiing competition. The course was amazing and it’s great we had such good weather today for the finals.’’
Behind Ledeux with a score of 84.80 was Norway’s Johanne Killi, who went with a stylish switch right-side 540 double Japan on the final hit but just couldn’t quite match the top-to-bottom technicality of Ledeux’s run.
While Jennie-Lee Burmansson of Sweden had to settle for third on the day, what Saturday’s competition means for her season is truly impressive, as the 15-year-old moved up to 409 points on the season to put herself 139 points clear of Killi with one event left to go and ensuring that she will become the youngest FIS Freestyle Skiing crystal globe winner of all-time - an incredible feat for an athlete her her first World Cup season.
Hall claims first-ever World Cup win
Over on the men’s side of things it was the Alex Hall show all week, as the rangy 19-year-old topped all qualifiers before stomping a hammer of a first run in the finals to take the first World Cup victory of his young career. With a silky smooth rail section and well-stomped trio of double corks through the jump line, Hall made it look easy on his way to earning a score of his third career attempt at the Silvaplana World Cup
‘’I’m really happy to have landed my run and to take first place,” Hall said, “The course was running sick and it’s great that the weather cooperated for the finals. A big thanks to everyone who made the event what it is!’’
Swiss favourite and World Cup leader Andri Ragettli came into the Silvaplana competition as the men’s slopestyle World Cup leader, and was hoping for a strong performance as he looks to lock down his second crystal globe in three years. And, with his second-place result on Saturday - earned via a first run that featured one of the most technical rail lines and three double corked 1260 variations for a score of 89.20 - he all but guaranteed that he would once again be holding the big trophy as World Cup champion in at the end of 2017/18. With 340 points, Ragettli now sits 92 points ahead of Norway’s Ferdinand Dahl with just one event to go.
Dahl did everything he could to reel in Ragettli with his performance on Saturday, stomping two nearly flawless runs in the finals. However, at the end of the day a couple of bobbles in the landing likely cost him a precious few points, and he ended up less than a point back of Ragettli with a score of 88.60.
The FIS Freeski World Cup now takes a week off before getting back to business at the final event of the slopestyle World Cup finals at Italy’s Seiseralm resort.
Trick list Ladies:
1. Tess Ledux: switch on to forward, front 450, right cork 7 tail, left cork 9 tail, switch left bio 9 mute, back 450
2. Johanna Killi: left 270 on, front 450, left 7 tail, right 9 tail, switch right 5 double japan, back 4
3. Jennie Lee Burmansson : left 270 on, front swap to forward, right 5 mute, switch left 5 safety, left 3 double tail, back 270 tail
Trick list Men:
1. Alex Hall: switch left 3, switch right 2 back swap continuing 2, switch left 2 back swap continuing 2, switch right double 9 truck, left double 12 seatbelt, switch left double 12 safety, right 2 pretz 2
2. Andri Raggetli: switch right 270 continuing 270, front swap pretz 4, right double 12 double japan, switch left double 12 Indy truck, left triple 14 safety, cork front 630
3. Ferdinand Dahl: blender switch left 270 continuing 450, switch on cork front 6, switch right double 12 tail, right double bio 12 Indy truck, switch left double 12 safety, right 450 to switch
- Full ladies’ results
- Full men’s results
- World Cup slopestyle standings
- Highlights video
- Photos (credit as noted)