Predictions: Trophée Eric Bompard 2015

papadakis cizeron 14 coc fd

The competition looks pretty stacked for TEB 2015 so let’s get to it! My predictions last week were way off their mark and I have a feeling with so many wildcards about, it will be the same here. So onwards!

Men

Patrick Chan came back with a vengeance and Chanflation or not, he did win at Skate Canada, giving him considerable momentum to take the gold at TEB as well. There is also another GP winner at this event, Max Aaron, though I’m not sure how he falls in my predictions. Personally, I thought that the judges were a little too kind to him at Skate America – there are swathes of his LP that consist of nothing but setting up for jumps and his edge control and step sequence is way below par from someone I’d expect to win a GP event. His jumps were on his side in Milwaukee but there is a strange tilt to them and it could just be his own personal jumping style or it could be something that hinders his ability to be consistent.

Not to be underestimated are two Japanese men who have already won medals at previous GP events, Shoma Uno and Daisuke Murakami. I think that Uno could’ve beaten Aaron at Skate America had he not fallen in the SP and if the judges decided to be more generous with his PCS. With both skaters skating on non-home ice, it would be interesting to see how this plays out as their scores will likely be a little more balanced here. For Murakami, I would say that his ability and medal at a previous GP event speaks to Japan’s deep singles field. If he could compete for another country, he’d probably find more success but I wouldn’t be surprised if Murakami got shafted on the podium – he’s not the young up and coming star like Uno and he did rank lower than mini-Daisuke (Takahashi) at Nationals last season.

Also to keep in mind is Denis Ten, who had a rough start to his season since he’s still dealing with injuries. I’m not sure if he can muster two skates that can earn him a podium spot but all I’m hoping for is for him to produce two skates he can be happy with considering his current physical condition.

So right now, I am sighing because I’m having a huge debate with myself as to how Max Aaron will rank here.

Predictions

Gold: Patrick Chan
Silver: Shoma Uno
Bronze: Daisuke Murakami (Just picked randomly here…)

Ladies

The ladies competition is a confusing mess of ladies who have done well in the past but their success at the moment is a little questionable. Well, maybe most of them except for Gracie Gold who has better programs this season and might have enough consistency to pull off a win here. Gold will face stiff competition from Elizaveta Tuktamysheva… if she has fixed all of her popped jumps and hiccups. I thought that Tuktamysheva mainly lacked focus in the SP at Skate Canada and I hope that the extra weeks have given her the training needed to show everyone why she was World Champion last year

Competing for the lower rungs of the podium will likely be Kanako Murakami and Julia Lipnitskaia. Both were ladies who were serious podium threats in the past but I fear that Murakami has not really improved her jump technique since she began in the senior ranks. As for Lipnitskaia – I think she may need to take the season to rework her entire jump technique. Even in Sochi, her jumps were extremely low but the fast rotation in the air as well as her small stature allowed her to land them without under-rotating them too often. As it stands though, Lipnitskaia may never return to what she was in Sochi though she can prove me wrong as her teammate Liza did.

Predictions

Gold: Elizaveta Tuktamysheva
Silver: Gracie Gold
Bronze: Kanako Murakami

Pairs

My new favourite discipline isn’t getting boring anytime soon. This season marks the return of Olympic Champions, Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov. Even though pairs have gotten more exciting of late, the field at TEB is pretty shallow so if this team can skate the way they did in Sochi, gold is theirs to lose.

The more exciting competition will probably be the race for silver. The two main contenders are teams that have been building their reputations in the past few seasons – Cheng Peng & Hao Zhang and Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov. I have yet to watch Peng & Zhang but I am looking forward to seeing their new programs. Their SP is set to “Norwegian Wood,” which is a song that I am fond of (partly because of the Haruki Murakami book). As for my predictions, I think I may need to toss a coin for this one. Technically, I think that both teams are around the same level though the Chinese pair does have quite a few big tricks up its sleeve. It could really go either way.

One pair to definitely keep an eye out for is Marissa Castelli & Mervin Tran. This team impressed me a lot at Skate America where they skated with such unison and precision that I was surprised that they were a newly formed team. Mervin definitely looked less trained than his partner especially in the jump department at that point but they have had a few weeks to work at it. I would not be surprised if they could challenge for a medal should the top teams falter.

Predictions

Gold: Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov
Silver: Cheng Peng & Hao Zhang
Bronze: Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov.

Ice Dance

Once again, ice dance fails to thrill me as pairs did in the Olympic cycle leading up to Vancouver 2010. I remember not wanting to do any of the predictions or the recaps of any of the pairs events back in the day and I have to admit, I feel the same way about ice dance right now. What a complete flip this has been. The roster for ice dance here has been so watered down that I have almost no idea who will take that third spot on the podium. I suppose I could get excited but I have a feeling I will be very bored or frustrated with bad skating should the time zone allow me to watch the competition live.

In any case, this discipline is the only one that France has any chance at medaling and I assume that this is why the roster was stacked this way. As current World Champions on home ice, this competition is Gabriella Papadakis’ & Guillaume Cizeron‘s to lose. I’m pretty sure that something catastrophic would have to happen for them to lose the gold here. With this team still up in the ranks and with the rise of Cappellini & Lanotte, as well as the stagnation of Weaver & Poje, I think that the ice dance medals at Worlds are at a juncture in time where they may be taken by mostly European teams again. With time, we’ll see if Weaver & Poje or Chock & Bates can fend off a possible Euro-sweep of the top spots in ice dance (i.e. the gold and the silver since the bronze will have a token team from the continents(s) not represented in the top spots).

A team that should probably sit comfortably in second is Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier who fall into what I call “the Joannie Rochette spot” where they’re actually better than the majority of teams out there but they have yet to crack the top few teams who have a chance at the top spot on the World podium. Their SD confuses me but I did enjoy the suspense and imagination of their FD.

For my bronze pick, I think I will slot in Penny Coombes & Nicolas Buckland who have improved considerably since the Vancouver Olympic cycle and did quite well for themselves last season.

Predictions

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier
Silver: Penny Coombes & Nicolas Buckland
Bronze: Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue

UPDATE: At the time when I wrote my predictions, Papadakis & Cizeron were still on the roster. My readers have informed me that since then, they have withdrawn from their GP events due to injuries. For my predictions, I have moved everyone up a spot and added Hubbell & Donohue as my bronze medal pick since they’ve had more experience than the other teams.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fuchsia G
    Nov 12, 2015 @ 17:08:36

    I’ve heard somewhere that Papadakis fell and hit her head hard during a training session in August and that she’s still struggling with the recovery. So I’m not sure we will see the World champions compete at the GP series actually…

    Reply

  2. missdancingfool
    Nov 12, 2015 @ 17:19:24

    Update: Papadakis and Cizeron have withdrawn from both their GP’s. =(

    Reply

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