On Thursday in Lake Placid, USA, Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Mikael Kingsbury, backed up by teammates Andi Naude and Marc-Antoine Gagnon, continued to a run of dominance by the Canadian moguls team in 2014/15 that may make this season even more impressive than their last.
Dufour-Lapointe took victory at Lake Placid in the ladies’ competition over hometown favourite Hannah Kearney (USA), though it was by the barest of margins. Dufour-Lapointe’s score of 86.86 was a mere .43 better than Kearney’s 86.43, with Dufour-Lapointe’s superior turning scores offset by Kearney’s edge in the jumps. With those scores essentially cancelling each other out, it came down to speed, and the .46 second Dufour-Lapointe had ahead of Kearney made the difference.
The win was the second World Cup victory in a row for Dufour-Lapointe, as she now leads the ladies’ moguls standings by 59 points over Kearney, as well as sitting atop the Freestyle World Cup overall rankings. Dufour-Lapointe has yet to finish outside of the top five this season, improving in each of her competitions on her way to her most recent back-to-back win performances.
Kearney, meanwhile, has podiums in four out of five events this season, though an uncharacteristic 25th place finish in the Deer Valley moguls event is hampering her at this point in the moguls crystal globe race.
Third place in ladies’ competition went to the above-mentioned Naude, as she scored the first podium of her career while adding another dimension to the already miles-deep Canadian team. Also of note was the performance of fourth-place finisher and veteran Deborah Scanzio (SUI), who is seeing something of a renaissance in 2014/15 since switching from the Italian to Swiss teams in the off-season.
For the men, Mikael Kingsbury made it four wins in a row, proving yet again that when he makes no mistakes he is, at this point in his career, unbeatable. His superfinal score of 90.54 was comfortably clear of second place finisher Alexandr Smyshlyaev’s (RUS) 87.97, while Kingsbury’s teammate Marc-Antoine Gagnon was able to make it four-out-of-six podiums on the day for the Canadian squad, coming in just behind Smyshlyaev, in third.
Newly-crowned moguls world champion Anthony Benna (FRA) continued a resurgent 2014/15 with a fourth-place result in Thursday’s event.
Kingsbury now leads the men’s moguls rankings by over 200 points – an incredible margin at this point in the season.
The FIS Freestyle World Cup moguls tour keeps rolling next week in Val St. Come, Canada, while action from Lake Placid continues tomorrow with aerials, followed by the second-ever aerials team event on Saturday.