Bilodeau and Dufour-Lapointe take wins, but US has strong showing
LAKE PLACID, USA – Although the competition ended with a pair of Canadians standing on top of the podium, it was still a big day for the US squad on home soil at the Lake Placid World Cup moguls event at Whiteface Mountain on Wednesday.
Taking two out of four podium spots – and three of the top four spots on both the men's and the ladies' sides – the US team managed to lock down one guaranteed Olympic spot, for Patrick Deneen, and see an athlete record a career best with Heidi Kloser's 2nd place finish.
The winner of the ladies' event was Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN), who rebounded from a mediocre qualifying score to lay down strong runs in the finals and superfinals and record her second win of the season. The aforementioned Kloser took 2nd with a smooth run that included a solid 720 “d-spin” off the bottom jump, while 3rd place went to Hannah Kearney, who skied out of her line just after the first air bump, slowing her time and cutting into her turning score.
Despite her 3rd place finish, Kearney retains the yellow jersey heading into Sunday's World Cup at Val Saint-Come (CAN), with an 84 point lead over Dufour-Lapointe as we near the midpoint of the season.
In the men's event, the seemingly invincible Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) was reduced to a footnote on the day, as his teammate Alex Bilodeau claimed his second straight moguls victory despite a serious challenge from Deneen.
Deneen bested Bilodeau in both time and turning scores, but the Canadian's untouchable jump combination of a back double full off the top and an off-axis 1080 on the bottom jump were enough for him to eke out a win by 3/10ths of a point.
3rd place went to Bradley Wilson, who bested his brother Bryon by a mere .02 of a point to record his first podium of the 2013/14 season.
The moguls World Cup tour now moves north to Val Saint-Come (CAN) for the last FIS Freestyle event of the 2014 Olympic qualification period. From there, it will be 'next stop – Sochi.'
Alex BILODEAU (CAN) - “It's nice to have the yellow bib back, but my party is the Olympics. I did a couple mistakes today. I'm feeling good on my skis but there's still a place for improvement and I'll build up on that. I know my colleague Mikael (Kingsbury) won't do those mistakes much with the Olympics coming up, so I need to step it up again.”
Justin DUFOUR-LAPOINTE (CAN) - “Today was just amazing. I was 14th in qualification which was a big crash, you know. I just had to pull off a big and amazing run in final and in superfinal. I had to find my lion inside and I just pulled off an amazing run. To back on the podium is just really cool.”
Full ladies' results can be found HERE
Ladies' competition highlights can be viewed HERE
Full men's results can be found HERE
Men's competition highlights can be viewed HERE
An 'unblocked' version of our highlights package can be found HERE