Mac Forehand on the way to his first World Cup win since 2019/ Chad Buchholz/FIS Freestyle

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Tess Ledeux and Mac Forehand win Tignes World Cup Slopestyle

By: Simon Bartik March 17, 2024

You might remember the slopestyle course at Tignes from X Games Europe, in the era of Tom Wallisch and Bobby Brown. More than ten years later, all the World Cup heavy hitters put on a show to remember.

Women’s Finals

The slopestyle finals kicked off on Saturday morning with the women’s event. Unfortunately, the women struggled with speed since there was some new snow and unpredictable wind blowing around the course. In the first run, Mathilde Gremaud knuckled the first jump, and Sarah Hoefflin, Olivia Asselin, and Ruby Star Andrews weren’t clean enough. Tess Ledeux landed a big dub 12 mute on the money booter and moved into first place, even though she didn’t stomp everything perfectly.

Anni Karava's misty 720 japan lent some flavor to her run. Buchholz/FIS

The second round was fortunately much better. Sarah cleaned her run on both rails and jumps, and went huge on all three kickers. On the last jump, she landed switch 7 mute so deep she couldn’t even stop, and ended up in the fences at the finish. Flora Tabanelli showed some tech skiing in the jumps with switch bio 9 and bio 9 lead tail, but a couple of mistakes meant no podium for the talented young Italian skier.

Olivia Asselin flowed through the course with style: flat 5 safety, switch 7 mute, huge switch 270 transfer, and cork 9 tail. The judges gave her 74 points for provisional first place. But two of the biggest names in slopestyle skiing were still to drop, and they showed they can perform under pressure. Tess Ledeux stomped a technical run, went deep on all jumps, and did a beautiful double cork 12 mute that secured her another gold medal. Mathilde Gremaud delivered her classic right bio 9 and double cork 10 to clinch second place. In the end, Olivia’s style run was enough for bronze.

Women's podium: Tess Ledeux, Mathilde Gremaud and Olivia Asselin. Buchholz/FIS

Men’s Finals

The Men’s final was on the program in the afternoon when the fresh snow had turned into slush. There were no speed struggles, the boys looked fired up and were delivering banger runs. Birk Ruud couldn’t stomp his run clean, even though he had an extra training day since he started in his first-ever snowboard World Cup. Matej Svancer was swerving all around the place, implementing his signature opp carve tokyo drift bring back as well as Kai Mahler’s invention, the switch double 9 pre-critical, but his run wasn’t clean enough for the judges.

The top six men could have been all on the podium. Andri Ragettli stomped switch double bio 16 as well as dub 16 and had a strong rail run, only good enough for sixth place though. Troy Podmilsak went to the moon on all kickers and earned fifth place. Alex Hall tried a bit more creative approach as always, but his signature bring back double 9 and funky rail tricks were only enough for fourth.

Konnor Ralph on his way to his first World Cup podium. Buchholz/FIS

Konnor Ralph had a good technical run and blew judge’s minds on his last hit, where he landed a humongous switch double cork 18 to claim his first-ever World Cup medal. Tormod Frostad did a crazy switch on bring back flip out of a cannon rail and switch double bio 16 landed with a tasty afterbang to swoop into second place. But with a switch 14 and 16 and a double cork 9 mute, the judges scored Mac Forehand the highest, which meant his first World Cup win since 2019.

What a show it was! The sixth-place finisher Andri was only 2.2 points behind the winner Mac. Both men and women killed it on a course with challenging rails and a signature turn before the last jump, it was definitely an entertaining watch. One thing is sure: We’re glad we didn’t need to judge it.

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