Many of the women’s field struggled in their first run on the demanding Seiser Alm course, as clouds on Saturday lead to slower speeds for finals than had been seen through a sunny week of training and qualifications.
However, several of the top riders who struggled in run one were able to clean things up in their second attempt, with 19-year-old Claire tops amongst them. Putting together an ultra-smooth rail line at the top of the course, Claire set herself up in the jumps with an equally smooth right-side 540 before dropping the heaviest trick of the day in the women’s competition - a switch left double cork 900 safety on the second jump.
Finishing things off with left 720 tail grab, Caroline Claire was welcomed in the finish area with a score of 86.13 for her efforts, vaulting into top spot and her second career World Cup victory at the very same venue where she took her first win back in 2017/18, and her first World Cup podium in 2016/17.
“It was a sweet day,” Caroline Claire said, “I love coming back to Seiser Alm. I’ve had two podiums here in the past, my first win was here and now this is my second. It’s amazing. The crowd is always hyped, the weather always holds out, and the course is unbelievable. We got lucky with the weather today and it was firing out there.”
Before Caroline Claire knocked her from her perch it was looking like top qualifier Johanne Killi (NOR) would be impossible to best at Seiser Alm, after putting down a super-solid first run for a score of 81.30. After seeing Claire jump into top spot with her second run, Johanne Killi was pushing for better in her final run of the competition but wouldn’t improve on her score after falling on her final hit, forcing her to settle for runner-up.
With the result, Johanne Killi jumped into a tie with Switzerland’s Giulia Tanno atop the women’s slopestyle World Cup leaderboard, with 104 points apiece.
Third place went to Canada’s Elena Gaskell, as the 18-year-old who’s something of a big air specialist put it all together in her second run for a score of 79.68 and the first slopestyle World Cup podium of her career.
Caroline Claire - down rail left 270 on, snowpad to tailslide 270 out down rail, up rail rightside slide frontside 450 out, right 540 safety, switch left double 900 safety, left 720 tail
Johanne Killi - wide rail switch right tailslide 270 out, snowpad to left 270 on down rail, up rail rightside slide frontside 450 off, left 900 tail, switch left 720 safety, switch right 720 japan
Elena Gaskell - wide rail left 270 on 270 out, switch right on to the snowpad rightside slide pretzel out, right 900 opposite tail, switch left 900 japan, left 900 tail