French skiers Kevin Rolland and Marie Martinod lift the Crystal Globe.
Their compatriot Ben Valentin takes 2nd place in the overall standings.
This Tuesday, March 7th, Tignes hosted the 3rd and final stage of the SFR Freestyle Tour under the floodlights. This ski halfpipe event, the only one on the Tour (the other two being ski slopestyle comps), had high stakes for the competitors involved because for the 3rd consecutive year it was also the final of the discipline’s World Cup.
Given the importance of this international event, with the results of the competition also deciding the winner of the Crystal Globe (1st on the World Cup circuit), the best riders in the world came along to battle it out!
This evening it was the skier from La Plagne, Kevin Rolland, who lifted the Crystal Globe in front of 10,000 cheering fans at the bottom of the Tignes Superpipe. His countryman Ben Valentin was right behind him in the overall standings and in front of the American Aaron Blunck.
However, it was the American Alex Ferreira who put on the best show of the day.
The stakes weren’t as high for the women; Marie Martinod was already guaranteed to take home the Globe before the contest had even started thanks to her excellent results throughout the season. She finished in 3rd place tonight behind Japan’s Ayana Onozuka in 2nd and a Cassie Sharpe in superb form who claimed 1st place this evening.
MEN’S RESULTS: 2 Frenchmen dominate the 2017 season
10 skiers were in the starting line-up at the Tignes Superpipe. Many hours, day and night, were spent on the pipe dragon to provide them with optimal conditions- especially tricky given the huge snowfalls in recent days.
They had 3 runs to make their mark, with the best one counting as their final score.
Starting out from 4th place in qualification, Kevin Rolland was up for it tonight…However, he made some mistakes in his 1st run and fell on his 2nd… The tension was mounting until his 3rd run, which was identical to his 1st but with more amplitude and much better execution. He laid down a perfect double back to back 1260 to put him into 3rd spot on the day. His 89.2 points earned him the 3rd Crystal Globe of his career (the 1st in 2009, the 2nd last year in Tignes). He ruled supreme over the season with 239 points.
With his 3rd globe, Kevin achieved one of his main goals for the season and heads to the world championships in Spain with the wind in his sails!
Ben Valentin, also from La Plagne, came in just behind him in the overall standings this season with 235 points. He was 7th after qualification and jumped up into 4th spot today. After a fall on his 2nd run, he scored best in his 3rd with 89 points.
On the other hand it wasn’t a great night for the American Aaron Blunck who had come through qualification in 2nd place. By falling and making serious mistakes, he was to be denied the Globe despite his status as favourite. He came in 3rd in the overall standings with 219 points, 1 point ahead of his compatriot Torin Yater Wallace who couldn’t make it to Tignes this evening due to an ankle injury.
The Americans were on song tonight: Alex Ferreira claimed the victory tonight with his best competition of the season by far. Clean, technical and really varied, he scored 93.2 points in his 3rd run featuring a left dub 1260 mute.
Taylor Seaton claimed 2nd with a perfectly executed 2nd run featuring a combination of tricks in all 4 directions. This was his 2nd outstanding performance of the year after a podium finish at the World Cup at Mammoth Mountain at the start of 2017.
These great performances meant that the Globe of Nations went to the United States as they scored the most FIS points in the various World Cups of the season.
WOMEN’S RESULTS: French skier Martinod, the senior member of the circuit claims the 2nd Globe of her career.
6 women came through qualification on Sunday. Like the guys, they had 3 runs in the final. Being lighter than the men, the conditions made it difficult for them, hampered by the wind and slowed up by the fresh snow in the pit of the pipe.
The women’s Crystal Globe was already decided. Marie Martinod from La Plagne (like Kevin and Ben) was sure to lift the Globe even before taking the start gate tonight. Her excellent results during the season meant it already had her name on it. After lifting her 1st Globe in 2004, this was her 2nd time around. Marie came in 3rd with 84 points in her 1st run.
But this evening it was the American Cassie Sharpe who dominated the SFR Freestyle Tour’s Superpipe in Tignes!
Cassie wasn’t going to ease up in the final World Cup event of the season. She put down a solid 3rd run that was perfectly executed with a nice trick combo including a back to back 900, earning her 90.80 points. Japanese rider Ayana Onozuka, who took home the Globe last year in Tignes, finished in 2nd place with 86 points from her 1st run.
In the overall 2017 season standings for women’s ski halfpipe, Ayana Onozuka came in 2nd behind Marie Martinod with 250 points and ahead of the American Annalisa Drew who racked up 225 points.
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