This article was originally published on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association website.
There isn’t much that Mikaël Kingsbury has not accomplished in his already illustrious career. Going into the weekend, Kingsbury held 25 World Cup titles, but he had never won a single mogul event in his home province of Quebec.
That all changed today at Val Saint-Côme when Kingsbury put down a run for the ages to score 88.31 and win his first mogul title in Quebec. Kingsbury had previously won a dual moguls event at Mont Gabriel in 2012.
The win is Kingsbury’s 26th World Cup title and his fifth consecutive victory on the tour this year. Australian Matt Graham (85.18) and Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev (84.12) finished second and third respectively.
“I knew what I needed to do to win here and I made it happen,” said Kingsbury. “It was extra special doing it in Quebec and with a big crowd at the bottom of the hill. I knew I couldn’t make too many errors in the final. I didn’t need to be the fastest, I just needed to be consistent. I made a few errors in my previous runs so I really wanted to nail down that last one to get the points from the judges. The last few moguls of the middle section of the course were extremely tricky and icy. I needed to have full control in what I was doing to perform my jump. I think my strategy really paid off.”
Philippe Marquis also made the top-six final and finished in sixth place with a score of 80.48.
On the women’s side, Chloé Dufour-Lapointe finished in second place to make her fourth podium of the season. Teammate Audrey Robichaud finished third for her first podium finish since February of 2013 when she won in Japan.
American Hannah Kearney topped all women’s scores with a 85.28. Dufour-Lapointe followed with 78.03 and Robichaud rounded out the top-three with 76.36.
“Since our childhood we’ve been skiing on ice and hard snow so we weren’t caught by surprise with the conditions of the course here,” said Chloé Dufour-Lapointe. “The course here at Val Saint-Côme is normally like this so we were mentally prepared for it. It’s one of the most technical courses in Canada. I really gave everything I could out there on the hill on that final run. I’m proud of how I skied today and where I finished on the podium.”
“I have tears of joy right now,” said Robichaud, competing in her 99th career World Cup. “I am just so proud. I am overjoyed right now and at a loss for words. It’s really difficult to describe how I feel. I’ve been really consistent in training and carried that consistency into Lake Placid last week. I’ve felt like I was really close to making it to the podium for a while. I’m glad it happened here though and in Quebec. I had many of my family and friends here as well to celebrate my 99th World Cup. I was really touched by all of them being here to witness this.”
Also competing in the women’s top-six were Andi Naude(4th – 73.11) and Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (6th – 72.72). Justine Dufour-Lapointe, finished 14th after losing control during her run in the small final. Kearney’s win made her the FIS World Cup points leader and allowed her to take the yellow leader bib from Justine Dufour-Lapointe.
“The race for the yellow bib is really close this year,” said Justine Dufour-Lapointe. “There’s still three World Cups left. I am fully focused on preparing for them and getting back to where I was. I am leaving here with my head up and smiling. My sisters did great and I cheered as loud as I could for them.”
Seven out of nine Canadians qualified for the 16-woman small final. Justine Dufour-Lapointe (2nd – 74.00), Chloé Dufour-Lapointe (3rd – 73.88), Maxime Dufour-Lapointe (5th – 73.31), Andi Naude (6th – 72.94), Audrey Robichaud (7th – 71.76), Alex-Anne Gagnon (15th – 63.74) and Christel Hamel (16th – 62.43) all made it through.
Julie Bergeron (62.05) just missed the cut in 17th place, while Kiera Leung (58.17) finished in 21st out of 26 mogul skiers.
Five Canadian men made it through to the 16-man small final. Mikaël Kingsbury led the way by finishing in first place during qualifiers with a score of 82.27. He was followed by Simon Pouliot-Cavanagh in ninth (77.37) and Marc-Antoine Gagnon in 12th (75.46). Laurent Dumais (74.91) and Philippe Marquis (74.88) finished 14th and 15th, respectively.
Following them were Kerrian Chunlaud (22nd – 71.27), Luke Ulsifer (28th – 66.75), Cedric Rochon (29th – 66.66), Brenden Kelley (30th 65.92), and Jordan Kober who did not finish his run due to a crash.
The top-six scores from both the men and women moved on to the super final for a shot at making the podium.
Full results found here.