With the Utah 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle & Freeski World Championships rapidly approaching, the FIS Freestyle moguls World Cup rolls into Tremblant, Quebec - arguably the heart of Canadian moguls skiing - for the the season’s sixth competition before the world’s top moguls athletes head down south to the world championships in Deer Valley.
It will be the second consecutive time that Tremblant hosts the moguls World Cup, after Freestyle Canada moved over to the new location for their annual moguls event in 2017/18.
Despite the recent relocation to Tremblant, it’s worth noting that the resort has a deep history of hosting World Cup competition, with moguls and aerials events stage here regularly from 1996 to 2005. And once again this season the classic venue of the Flying Mile run on the mountain’s south side will be the stage of one of the most anticipated competition in the region.
With a full day of qualifications (beginning at 8:45 EST) and finals (beginning at 13:30) hitting the renowned Quebec resort on Saturday, expect the ladies and men of the moguls World Cup to put on an exceptional show as they look to head into the world championships on a high.
Quebec has long been the locus of Canadian moguls skiing, producing some of the greats of the sport in the past and of the present, with the 2018 Olympic Winter Games medallist Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Mikael Kingsbury in the house this weekend ready to lead the Canadian squad in front of the home crowd.
In the ladies’ World Cup rankings Dufour-Lapointe sits in sixth place - the best ranked among all Canadian ladies - with her best result so far being a fifth place finish in Thaiwoo back in December. However, she won the competition at Mont Tremblant last season, and she will certainly be looking to step up her game in 2018/19 and make a comeback on the World Cup podium on home soil.
Meanwhile, the battle for the yellow World Cup leader bib will continue to go on between the current leader Perrine Laffont (FRA),and Jaelin Kauf (USA), while Yulia Galysheva (KAZ) and Jakarta Anthony (AUS) lurk still within striking distance with five competitions to go until the seasons caps off in March at a new venue in Shymbulak (KAZ).
Throw in the mix Tess Johnson (USA), who grabbed her second top-3 finish last week on home soil in the USA, and the ladies’ event is shaping up to be an exciting one, with no certain favourite to lead the field in Quebec.
Switching to the men’s event, once again it’s Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) who everyone will be looking to this weekend, as the most dominant athlete in Freestyle aims for World Cup victory number 54, all while competing just 20 minutes away from his hometown of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.
And while last year it was Ikuma Horishima (JPN) who ended Kingsbury’s remarkable 13-straight World Cup win streak in Tremblant, it’s hard to believe that Kingsbury will let it happened twice in a row.
Certainly it’s impossible to say that Kingsbury will storm to victory on Saturday, but what we can take for granted is the fact that, because of his recent loss in Lake Placid, the winningest moguls skier of all time will be even more motived to show who the king is here in Quebec. And while he still lacks a World Cup victory on his home court in Tremblant, he’ll push it harder than ever to prove that he’s not widely considered to be the greatest of all time for nothing.
On Saturday also watch out for Benjamin Cavet, who is coming straight of his career’s first World Cup victory last weekend in Lake Placid, for Sweden’s Walter Wallberg, who is experiencing a break-out season this year, and the veteran duo of Australia’s Matt Graham and Dmitriy Reikherd, who will be dropping in representing Kazakhstan.
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