Two days of extended training sessions followed by back-to-back qualification days - Friday for the women - the top riders were more than familiar with the perfectly sculpted three-jump, three-jib section Font Romeu course. As a result, we saw some extremely entertaining skiing and impressive runs from start to finish of finals, though some of the top riders had difficulty putting their runs down cleanly as the pressure ramped up through the day.
Tess Ledeux, however, was one the standout example of an athlete rising to the occasion, as she put a disappointing first run in which she lost a ski in the past and stomped an incredible second run that included a switch left bio 900 mute on the first jump, a switch right 900 safety on the third jump, and a super smooth, locked-in rail section.
The win was Tess Ledeux’s third at Font Romeu, after she took back-to-back victories at the venue in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
“I’m very happy,” a relieved Tess Ledeux said before awards, “I crashed hard yesterday in training, but I was ok today, and I’m just super happy to take first place for the first time here. It’s incredible. I was super nervous dropping in but I’m happy to land my second run. I love this place.”
With a score of 78.70, second-place for the fourth time this World Cup season went to Switzerland’s Giulia Tanno, who has runner-up results in all three big air competitions so far in 2019/20 and now adds a slopestyle podium to her growing collection. Giulia Tanno held the lead for much of the competition after a strong first run, but was once again denied her first victory of this winter when Tess Ledeux stepped it up with her second run.
Third went to Giulia Tanno’s Swiss teammate and top qualifier Sarah Hoefflin, as the reigning Olympic gold medallist put some disappointing 2019/20 big air World Cup results and a minor injury before the holidays behind her to earn her first podium of the 2019/20 season with a score of 74.95.
Ledeux - Switch left bio 900 mute, left 900 tail, switch right 900 safety, right side on continuing 450 off, switch right on frontside change-up, right on frontside 270 off
Tanno - switch left 900 safety, left 720 tail, right 900 opposite tail, switch left 270 on to switch, switch left on to regular, left side 270 on
Hoefflin - switch right 720 mute, switch left 540 safety, right 540 double mute, switch left 270 continuing 270 off, right on across A-frame, right on backside 270 out