Kearney, Kingsbury eke out narrow World Cup leads with wins in Voss
Snow came down throughout the day, but good work by the experienced Voss-Myrkdalen crew ensured a smooth dual moguls competition as Hannah Kearney and Mikael Kingsbury were able to claim crucial victories.
The race for the crystal globe on both the men’s and ladies’ sides is unbelievably close, as Kearney and Justine Dufour-Lapointe (CAN) continue to trade the yellow leader’s bib back and forth at seemingly every event. With her performance in the Voss duals Kearney reclaimed the lead from Dufour-Lapointe, but only by the slimmest of margins, as she now has 750 points to Dufour-Lapointe’s 745.
Kearney beat Dufour-Lapointe solidly in the final matchup and may now hold more than just a points advantage heading into the World Cup finals in La Plagne, France, where one final dual moguls event will decide who takes not just the moguls crystal globe, but also the big trophy for the top skier on the 2013-14 freestyle skiing World Cup, period.
No one can catch either Dufour-Lapointe or Kearney, but whichever one of them finishes high next weekend is ensured both trophies.
It was a good day for the entire Dufour-Lapointe trio, as Chloe and Maxime both battled well to make it into a small final matchup against each other. Chloe ended up winning that dual handily to take third place on the day. With Maxime in fourth and Heather McPhie (USA) ending up in fifth, Sunday’s results through the top five at Voss were exactly representative of the top five standings on the World Cup leader board.
On the men’s side it was a matchup we’ve seen so many times before, as Kingsbury lined up for a super final run against his teammate, friend and rival Alex Bilodeau. Both skiers put down the kind of run we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from them – fast, tight, and technical – and the judging really could have gone either way.
The consensus on Sunday was that Kingsbury was superior, and with his win he was able to move into something of a safe zone – he now needs only a second place finish in La Plagne to take home both the moguls and freestyle overall titles for the third straight season, and in doing so ruin Bilodeau’s bid to finish his career as the World Cup winner.
As with the ladies, Kingsbury and Bilodeau are untouchable by anyone else in the field, and the battle between the two next weekend should be epic.
Third place on the day went to Bradley Wilson (USA) who had out-dualed countryman Patrick Deneen in a wild quarter final match-up to make it through. In the small final Wilson was able to best Saturday’s single moguls winner Alexandr Smyshlyaev (RUS) to claim his fourth podium in what has been a breakout year for the 21 year old.
Moguls World Cup finals will take place on Friday, 21 March 2014, in La Plagne, France.