Mikael Kingsbury in his element

Mikaël Kingsbury in his element

VAL SAINT-COME | Mikaël Kingsbury assures that his 29the Place in a duel in Alpe d’Huez to close the first half of the season in December is behind him and he’s attacking to defend his three Crystal Globes.

• Also read: Gabriel Dufresne wants to savor his revenge

Like the other favourites, Kingsbury had capitalized on a bye in the first lap before falling on his first run to see his day end abruptly.

“I’ve learned and I’ll come back stronger,” he said in an interview with the media in anticipation of the Moguls World Cup, which will be held in Val Saint-Côme tomorrow and Saturday. I wasn’t happy after my fall, but it shows I’m human. »

Michel Hamelin has no doubt his protégé will hit back. “His motivation is amazing and he’s still having fun like a kid,” said the Canada team’s head coach. I have a post on my computer from Mik saying he won silver in Sochi, gold in Pyeongchang, silver in Beijing and gold in Italy. »

“After the event in Alpe d’Huez we talked and agreed that in such circumstances where it’s a long time without skiing, he should attack,” continues Hamelin. After training he was 90 minutes without skiing because of the pass and was surprised by a bump that was so different from training. Making a defensive run in these circumstances can be risky. »

A melting priority

Before finishing 29th in France, Kingsbury held the lead in all three rankings. He retained first place in both the individual and overall standings, but dropped to fourth place in tackles.

“It’s a shame because I had a good gap and now I have to start from scratch again,” he said. It doesn’t matter if I’m leading by 100 points or by three points like I currently have in the standings, I have to do my best. I like it when the table is tight and bring out the best in me. »

“I’ve had good training and I’m going into the competition with a lot of confidence,” added the three-time Olympic champion. Last year the events in Quebec got me back first place and I’m hoping to take a lead in the standings this year. »

Harder route

Kingsbury is delighted to be reconnecting with the Alexandre Bilodeau track, which has not hosted a stage of the World Championships since 2017. All the more so that the two events take place in the evening, where visibility is better.

“It’s harder to win at Tremblant because all the skiers are in the same boat,” he explained. In the Val Saint-Côme, the course is more difficult and the distance between the best skiers and the middle of the field is greater. The route here is longer, steeper and more physically demanding. »

Hamelin agrees.

“The Tremblant trail isn’t big enough,” he said. The quality of the skiing pays off in Val Saint-Côme and the top ten finish in the top 10. On an easier descent, a small mistake among the favorites can drop them back to 7th place because the distance between skiers is greater. Celebration. Mikaël is in his element on a more difficult track. »