VAL SAINT-COME | Laurianne Desmarais-Grenier stepped out of her comfort zone and the result paid off.
• Also read: Freestyle Skiing World Cup: Mikaël Kingsbury wins the mogul race
• Also read: Mikaël Kingsbury in his element
In her first full season in the World Cup, the skier from Sainte-Adèle reached her first career final, finishing 16th. The key for Desmarais-Grenier was to increase her speed, which she succeeded in doing.
“It’s great to reach my first career final and to do it in front of my family and friends,” she said. I managed a better descent in qualifying. I was more tense in the final and I was looking forward to being there.
Desmarais-Grenier finished 14th in qualifying, securing his ticket to the final.
“Yes, yes, I got out of my comfort zone,” she said with her best smile. I really pushed my limits and pushed my limits. My coach Mike (Michel Hamelin) has been talking a lot this week about getting out of my comfort zone.
Solid on his skis, Desmarais-Grenier hasn’t been able to muster the pace needed to climb into the top 16 and reach the finals since the start of the season.
“I drove faster than my average on the last two training days,” said the 25-year-old. Speed was key and I’m really happy. I skied faster and jumped higher. I gave everything.”
Local favorite eliminated
Motivated to forget his last performance in Val Saint-Côme as he took his first steps in the World Cup in 2017, local hero Gabriel Dufresne did not see the descent he had longed for.
“My descent more or less happened,” summarized the one who took his lessons in Val Saint-Côme. I made a few mistakes in the top jump and a few falls in the last part. I didn’t get the descent I wanted.
Dufresne was 7th at the start. “It’s usually an advantage to start early because the time between training and the descent is short, but that wasn’t the case here because of the visibility,” explained the 17th-place finisher in the final. When I left, it was not quite dark at that time of day and visibility was not optimal. As the qualification progressed, the visibility became better because the contrasts became more important.
Kerrian Chunlaud felt he was on a good run, but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the finals.
“I’m very happy with my descent and my feelings are coming back,” said the man who went under the knife on February 9 for a torn anterior cruciate ligament. When you do your rehabilitation you have to go through phases every month and the last aspect is to regain the confidence to compete. It’s taking longer to find and I’m working on it.”
Chunlaud finished 22nd and had not yet decided whether he would start in the more physically demanding parallel event on Saturday.