Current Olympic and World Dual Mogul Champion Alex Bilodeau won the FIS Dual Mogul World Cup here and led teammates Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Jenn Heil to another three-medal day for Canada.
Bilodeau beat overall points-leader France’s Guilbaut Colas to take the gold. In the small final, Patrick Deneen of the US bested Canadian Mikael Kingsbury (Deux Montagnes, Que.) for the bronze. Kingsbury lost the previous dual to Colas.
Sweden has been very good to Montreal’s Bilodeau, whose victory today capped a perfect performance here – winning the single and dual mogul qualification and finals runs in the two-day event. The win marked Bilodeau’s 28th World Cup podium and was a repeat of his 2009 domination on the same course.
“The skiing was so fast today,” said Bilodeau of the icy and challenging course. “At that kind of speed any small mistake will push you off the edge. But I come from Quebec and I like a firm course with big moguls, so it was good for me. Plus, absorption is one of my strengths and it helps me maintain my speed in control.”
Bilodeau now moves to second place in the overall rankings.
In all, six Canadian men earned spots in the 16-man final. Rookie Simon Pouliot Cavanagh (Quebec City, Que.) finished fifth; Cédric Rochon, (St. Sauveur, Que.), ninth; Marc-Antoine Gagnon (Terrebonne, Que.), 12th and Eddie Hicks (Langley, B.C.), 13th.
Drummondville, Quebec’s Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau finished just outside the finals, in 17th position.
On the women’s side, Canadian rookie Justine Dufour-Lapointe earned her third World Cup podium, taking the silver in a hard-fought final run against the USA’s formidable Hannah Kearney, who won her seventh-straight World Cup of the year and sealed her grip on the crystal globe for the season.
Dufour-Lapointe beat reigning double World Champion (single and dual moguls) Jenn Heil in the semi-finals after Heil barged the start gate and threw herself off-balance. The Spruce Grove, Alberta-native took the bronze medal after beating Russia’s Regina Rakhimova in the small final.
“I really focused on what I had to do today,” said the 16-year-old Dufour Lapointe who hails from Montreal. “I try not to think about who is next to me in duals, I just think about keeping my speed and staying in my line.”
Dufour-Lapointe is known for her sparkling personality and could be seen dancing at the top of the course prior to her dual against Kearney. She said, “I try to make it fun and not be too serious, that relaxes me and releases my stress. Today I was dancing to Lady Gaga’s Born this Way.”
Heil, who now lives in Montreal, was disappointed that her mistake in the start gate cost her a chance at the gold, but she did earn a remarkable 57th World Cup podium. She was impressed with Dufour-Lapointe and predicted, “Justine represents the future of the sport and she will have a long and great career.”
Dufour-Lapointe’s older sister Chloé was in a good position having qualified first today, but just prior to her first dual she noticed that her ski was broken and had to make an emergency ski change at the top of the course – that may have affected her concentration and she, unfortunately, ended the day in ninth. Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City, Que. was 10th and Chelsea Henitiuk of Spruce Grove, Alta was 16th.