Travis Mayer wins World Cup moguls in Lake Placid{mosimage}Three events in to the men’s World Cup 12 stop mogul schedule, Travis Mayer has taken the tour lead with his first World Cup win, at Lake Placid, Jan. 15. Mayer was the best of a huge field of competitors, scoring more than a full point better than two-time World Champion Finn Mikko Ronkainen in second and Canadian Marc Andre Moreau in third.

The U.S. team, with six in the 16 man finals, also wound up with Luke Westerlund in fifth, Nate Roberts seventh and rookie Landon Gardner 10th. 2003 World Cup mogul champ Travis Cabral was 14th and Jeremy Bloom pulled up and did not conclude his final run.

Jennifer Heil extended her World Cup mogul tour lead with her second win in three chances, ousting Czech skier Nikola Sudova for the win. Michelle Roark led the U.S. in third.
ten of the 16 competitors in finals were North American with the final top 10 showing four Canadians (Heil, Stephanie St Pierre 6th, Elisa Kurylowicz 7th, and Kristi Richards 9th) and four Americans (Roark, Laurel Shanley 4th, Jillian Vogtli 8th and Emiko Torito 10th).

For Mayer it was his first career win and he had nothing but praise for the Whiteface Mnt crews that put the hill into competition shape. He, and everybody else, had expected a pretty nasty surface after a unusual rain storm had swept through Lake Placid and then frozen.

“I expected totally frozen boilerplate. … But they had blown an inch and a half of snow on top. … It was really firm, but if you needed to, you could grab on.” He said he had arrived thinking “Oh man, I hope I can survive,” but that changed to “I can rip that,” once he saw the course.
He went wild, literally, skiing a very on the edge of control run for the win. He completed the task with a sweet 720 spin. It is an extremely difficult move to execute well with an extremely low success percentage. “But the flip side is if you get ahold of it, and it looks upright, it’s really impressive.” It was impressive enough to dash the World Champion.

Heil said she was just looking to ski as fast as she could. “The course was firm and pretty quick and I like that,” she said. Trying to regain the form she felt had taken some hits from habits picked up while recupping from a broken thumb, Heil concentrated on the speed and reverted to the form that brought her the World Cup title last season.

Michelle Roark, trying to regain form herself after missing time to summer nuptuals, dedicated her Christmas holiday to skiing. It paid off with third place and her sixth best World Cup score. “It felt so good to pull it all together. I’ve been working so hard on new turns and new flips… and it worked. I’m happy.” Laurel Shanley claimed fourth with one of her top 10 scores as well.

In the final event at Lake Placid, a second aerial competition, Nina Li got her second win in three days with her third highest score ever. Austalian Lydia Ierodiaconou was second, for the second time in three days. And Alla Tsuper moved up one place from fourth to finish with the last podium placing. Canada had Deidra Dionne in fifth and Melissa Prefontaine in ninth. The U.S. was topped out by Kate Reed in eighth with Emily Cook 11th.

Jeret Peterson claimed his first career World Cup win with a 250.53 score while Jeff Bean, with his fourth best all-time score, was relegated to second. Defending Cup champion Steve Omischl got third. Peterson leads the Cup standingswith two seconds and the win in five events scored.

The events was a solid one for Canada with the two podiums backed by Warren Shouldice in fifth. Belarus got fourth from Dmitri Dashinski and sixth from Alexei Grichin. Joe Pack contribnuted ninth while Eric Bergoust was 11th and Ryan St Onge 12th to close out the field of finalists.

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