Moguls heads for the homestretch in Voss-Myrkdalen
VOSS-MYRKDALEN, NOR – After nearly two weeks off, the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup is back in action this Saturday and Sunday with moguls and dual moguls events slated to hit the slopes of Voss-Myrkdalen, Norway.
Voss was the home of the 2013 Freestyle World Ski Championships, where it hosted slopestyle, aerials, and ski cross competitions as well as both moguls events.
The moguls events at the 2013 world champs were an insightful precursor to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, as all four of the winners in Voss (Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) and Hannah Kearney (USA) in single moguls, and Alex Bilodeau (CAN) and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) in dual moguls) were able to grab an Olympic Games medal in Sochi.
The previous event on the World Cup tour was on March 2 in Inawashiro, Japan, when Kearney won the ladies' dual moguls and Kingsbury took the victory on the men's side. For both athletes, their performance in the duals was enough to vault them back into first place on both the moguls and World Cup overall leader boards.
Kearney was able to pull ahead of Sochi 2014 gold medallist Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN), who now sits second in the rankings followed by her sisters Chloe and Maxime in third and fourth respectively. Fifth place on the ladies' side belongs to Heather McPhie (USA).
Kingsbury, meanwhile, was able to vault over teammate Alex Bilodeau. Bilodeau had a disappointing showing at Inawashiro, failing to make the podium in both the single and dual moguls competitions after coming off a gold medal-winning performance at Sochi 2014 and six consecutive podium performances in this season's World Cup events.
Bilodeau still sits way ahead of third place mogulist Patrick Deneen (USA), while Bradley Wilson (USA) and Marc-Antoine Gagnon (CAN) sit in fourth and fifth respectively.
While there is some potential on the ladies' side for a challenge for the freestyle overall crystal globe from one or two ski cross athletes, there will be no such challenge on the men's side. As of right now, it seems almost assured that the biggest Freestyle World Cup prizes of them all will end up in the hands of moguls skiers.
With two of the last three moguls events of the season slated for this weekend, then, the biggest battles in freestyle will be between Hannah Kearney and Justine Dufour-Lapointe for the ladies' moguls and overall crystal globes, and between Bilodeau and Kingsbury for the men's trophies.
As we wind down a gruelling Olympic season, expect competition in Voss-Myrkdalen to be as much about stamina as skill, with the athletes with the deepest well of drive and determination likely be rewarded.
Ladies' moguls standings can be viewed HERE
Ladies' freestyle World Cup overall standings can be viewed HERE
Men's moguls standings can be viewed HERE
Men's freestyle World Cup overall standings can be viewed HERE
Video highlights from the Inwashiro, JPN, events can be viewed HERE