Predictions: Internationaux de France

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The Grand Prix series is getting close to the final and stakes are high. In the men’s competition, it’s a chance to shine given that Yuzuru and Javier will likely not be part of the GPF roster. It’s been another busy week so here goes nothing!

Men

Hopefully Javier Fernandez has recovered from his stomach bug since he needs to salvage his reputation as a podium contender this season. Competition will be steep with Shoma Uno looking to win. With Yuzuru injured, it seems like the men’s Olympic curse is coming true and that my pre-season prediction that Uno could be Olympic Champion may not be as farfetched. The bronze will likely be a showdown between Americans Max Aaron and Vincent Zhou. The latter has yet to find consistency this season but given his skating skills and arsenal of quads, he is still a threat when he’s on point.

Predictions:

Gold: Shoma Uno
Silver:
Javier Fernandez
Bronze:
Max Aaron

Ladies

This competition will be a real test for Alina Zagitova. Yes, I’ll start with Zagitova because the meaning of this competition is twofold for her. She will be facing off here with Kaetlyn Osmond for gold. If both skate well, we will see whether the judges prefer more choreographically balanced programs or back-ended ones this season. If Zagitova beats Osmond, it puts her directly in podium contention. Furthermore, it puts her within firing range of Evgenia Medvedeva, who has made uncharacteristic mistakes in her last 2 GP events, for Russian Nationals. At the moment, I keep flip-flopping between the two for my gold medal pick. Personally, I prefer Osmond’s style (and abhor Zagitova’s posture and awkward lines) but Kaetlyn has a tendency to make small but costly mistakes in the LP.

Maria Sotskova also proved that she was a contender for the Russian Olympic team at Skate Canada this season, skating with more confidence and an awkward tano arm with every jump. I’d put her firmly in the bronze medal position.

Predictions:

Gold: Alina Zagitova
Silver:
Kaetlyn Osmond
Bronze:
Maria Sotskova

Pairs

Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov have one of the most puzzling LPs this season, not because it’s not a Medvedeva-esque trippy story but because the music censorship is a weird mess. I mean – it’s clear many of the songs are about sex, so who the hell cares if we hear about cherries popping? Actually, I take that back, maybe they should censor it because we really need to get rid of this myth of intact hymens as a sign of virginity and the subsequent association between a female’s sense of worth and her virginity. Yay for being sex positive!

Either way, considering their track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if they win but they will face a tough challenge from Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres who have finally found their stride and are on home ice. A win for James & Cipres here would bolster their Olympic medal chances.

Bronze will be a complete guess though I think it will be a mini-showdown between Cheng Peng & Yang Jin, Nicole Della-Monica & Matteo Guarise, who did decently well at the Cup of China and *maybe* Lubov Iliushechkina & Dylan Moscovitch, who desperate need to get their shit together if they want to remain the Canada #2 pairs team.

Predictions:

Gold: Evgenia Tarasova & Vladimir Morozov
Silver:
Vanessa James & Morgan Cipres
Bronze:
Nicole Della-Monica & Matteo Guarise

Ice Dance

Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron will win here. ‘Nuff said.

Onto some more interesting things to speculate about. Silver and bronze will be a battle between Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje and Madison Chock & Evan Bates. The former made a coaching change, which may help them politically for the next Olympic cycle while the latter has stagnated a bit. It will be a real battle here. In the most recent seasons, Chock & Bates have been placed over Weaver & Poje so I think I will go with the status quo for my predictions. If W&P do defeat C&B here, I would not be surprised if their standing as the America #2 dance team is in danger at U.S. Nationals this season. Hubbell & Donohue have taken a stand and are improving.

Predictions

Gold: Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron
Silver:
Madison Chock & Evan Bates
Bronze:
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje

Let me know what your predictions are in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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