Leg five of the 2013 ISU Grand Prix is Trophee Eric Bompard in Paris ! Here’s the event schedule... want to see where my guesses are going this week? Read on...
Gold- Ashley Wagner, USA
Silver- Adelina Sotnikova, RUS
Bronze- Anna Pogorilaya, RUS
Dark Horses: Christina Gao and Samantha Cesario, USA
NOTES: Even the article at IceNetwork indicates this ladies’ event is all about the Americans and the Russians (who comprise ½ of the competitors) . Wagner will have to do as she did at SkAM, and then some, to hold off “the teenagers” who earned hardware at Cup of China two weeks ago. We know they can skate; we know they do well under pressure. My hope is that, all things being relatively equal on the tech side, Wagner’s experience and “whole package” maturity will put her on top. And if, by chance, any of these three have a rough weekend... either Gao or Cesario could make it to the podium instead.
Gold- Patrick Chan, CAN
Silver- Han Yan, CHN
Bronze- Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN
Dark Horse: Florent Amodio, FRA
NOTES: If Han skates anything like he did at Cup of China, this is going to be quite the event. Not that I think he can beat Chan, but I think he (Chan) should plan his full arsenal... it won’t be as easy as SkCan was. I did decide to give Han the nod over Hanyu because I haven’t seen Hanyu skate clean since before Worlds. I’m also not feeling much love for his new Romeo & Juliet free skate; it just doesn’t feel like it has its own personality yet. As for Amodio—call me crazy for giving him any consideration after Cup of China, but he’s the sole French representative in this year’s men’s event. Consequentially, I’m hoping he makes it interesting. (By the way, USA ’s Ross Miner was scheduled to compete but withdrew with an ankle injury. Jason Brown will be the only U.S. competitor.)
Gold- Qing Pang/Jian Tong, CHN
Silver- Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford, CAN
Bronze- Caydee Denney/John Coughlin, USA
Dark Horse: Vera Bazarova/Yuri Larionov, RUS
I’m not sure on this one. Call it a sentimental wish: Pang/Tong are primed to win (no kidding!) the 30th medal of their GP career at TEB, so I guess I’d like to see it be a gold one. D/R weren’t as polished as I thought they’d be at SkCan, but they skate with more technical difficulty than P/T so I’ll cut them some slack... but am doubtful that they’ll have all their rough spots fixed two weeks later. I’ve yet to see Baza/Lari this season—had to look them up just to make sure they were still competing this year, in fact—and that’s the main reason why I’m putting them behind the boundless power that is Denney/Coughlin.
Gold- Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir, CAN
Silver- Nathalie Pechalat/Fabian Bourzat, FRA
Bronze- Elena Ilinykh/Nikita Katsalapov, RUS
Dark Horse: Papakadis/Cizeron, FRA
The love will be both with veterans Pech/Bour and senior GP rookies Papa/Ciz (teenagers that did very well on the junior circuit last year), but Virtue/Moir shouldn’t have any trouble securing their place in the GP Final with another TEB win.