Photo Credit: Chad Buchholz/FIS
(ISN) – Tignes, France – The final stop on the Halfpipe FIS World Cup tour turned out to be a memorable one for Canadians as Cassie Sharpe and Mike Riddle came out victorious against their respectively field.
For Sharpe, it was the first World Cup victory for the 22-year-old from Comox, BC. A 2015 World Championship silver medallist, Sharpe soared to an impressive score of 93.80 to beat a stacked field that included Olympic and X Games medallists.
In second was the most recent Olympic bronze medallist from Japan, Ayana Ozonuka, who scored 90.40. Third went to X Games bronze medallist Brita Sigourney, from the U.S.A., who finished with a score of 86.40.
“I’m so stoked about the run I put down,” said Sharpe. “It was a lot fun. My ridding has definitely improved and I’ve become a stronger skier since the World Championships. Just making the finals was a huge accomplishment with this field. It was really stacked.”
“It definitely a good feeling knowing that I can compete with this group and I can mix it up a bit with them. It’s fun knowing that I can challenge these girls.”
Sharpe has attributed a lot of her success to pushing herself with new tricks including a left cork nine that no other woman is currently doing. The trick made its debut at the Canadian Open last week and helped Sharpe finish second in Calgary.
“It’s a great way to end the World Cup season,” said Trennon Paynter, Head Coach of the Halfpipe Team. “Cassie’s run was pretty mind blowing. Her upside down and above the pipe trick was higher than any woman ever. She made history for the sport today. Everyone was so impressed by it. It was great to be a part of it and see her first major victory.”
“She really hit a new gear here. The best of the best came to Tignes and Cassie came out on top. To have her on the team as a new athlete and to see her progress has been really cool.”
The win for Riddle, 28, marked his first time on the podium since winning silver in Sochi.
The native of Sherwood Park, AB, impressed the judges with his third and final run to score 95.00 and beat out Olympic gold medallist, David Wise. The American scored 94.20 to capture second and was followed by his teammate Alex Ferreira in third with 87.40.
“I was so stoked to land all three runs, which is kind of rare for me,” said Riddle with a laugh. “It was probably my favourite part of the day. My year has been a tough one for me. I haven’t been on the podium since the Olympic Games. This season has been about working on new tricks and new combos. It’s a building year. I wasn’t as worried about the podium. I’m thinking long term towards Korea. But it’s huge to land all my runs and win here. Everyone is skiing on such a high level on tour, so you really need to put down a flawless run to win.”
Simon d’Artois, 23, was the other Canadian competing in Thursday’s final. The native of Whistler, BC, finished in sixth place with a high score of 77.20.
This FIS World Cup finale was competed in conjunction with the SFR Freestyle Tour.
The next event for the halfpipe team will be the AFP World Tour Finals taking place in Whistler, BC, between April 9-13.