Harle fourth at Quebec big air 

Local product also 12th in World Cup slopestyle

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF FREESTYLE CANADA - Towering Teal Teal Harle flies during big air training at the FIS World Cup in Quebec City last week.
  • Photo courtesy of Freestyle Canada
  • Towering Teal Teal Harle flies during big air training at the FIS World Cup in Quebec City last week.

Whistler's Teal Harle went big in Quebec.

The freestyle skier put up a couple of strong results at the FIS World Cup event in Quebec City on the weekend, earning a fourth-place finish in big air and a 12th in slopestyle.

In the big air on Feb. 11, Harle put his classic tricks to good use as he posted a score of 177 even, just five points behind winner Kai Mahler of Switzerland and four off the podium, occupied by Henrik Harlaut of Sweden and Andri Ragettli of Switzerland.

"It was awesome. I was really stoked on that," he said. "I was just in a good mind-state and was having a good time that night. When you're feeling good, you seem to do (well) — or at least I do."

In the slopestyle — the first World Cup in the discipline held in Canada — one small imperfection undermined an otherwise-immaculate attempt. Once that's mopped up, Harle knows he'll be making a big impact with the judges.

"I think I did really well in the slopestyle. I ended up 12th at the end because I missed a grab in my run, but other than that, I landed the whole thing perfectly," he said. "I was stoked on that; I just need to get the grab next time.

"I just got unlucky that time. I don't think I've missed that grab before."

Harle explained the conditions in Quebec were chilly leading up to the competition dates, but the weather improved a bit when it mattered most. He also credited the staff with keeping the courses safe, skiable and free of ice in challenging circumstances.

"The (slopestyle) course was awesome. They did a great job on that," Harle said.

Harle appreciated the opportunity to compete on the World Cup stage within Canada, avoiding any travel hassles that can come with going overseas, making connecting flights or going through customs. That said, going to Quebec has a foreign feel to it, though the fans were supportive.

"It was awesome because the crowd, just because you're Canadian, they got stoked because they can relate to you," he said.

Harle led the Canadian charge in the big air, though other Canadians like Mark Hendrickson (sixth) and Alex Beaulieu-Marchand (11th) and Evan McEachran (15th) also performed well. Whistler's Taylor Wilson took 22nd.

In the slopestyle, Beaulieu-Marchand hit the podium in third, behind only Ragettli and the U.K.'s James Woods. McEachran, in eighth, and Alex Bellemare, in 10th, also hit the top 10. Meanwhile, Wilson took 38th.

As for the women, Whistler's Yuki Tsubota was the top Canadian big air finisher in 12th, just ahead of Anouk Purnelle-Faniel, who was 13th. The Swiss swept the podium, with starring performances from Mathilde Gremaud, Giulia Tanno and Sarah Hoefflin.

In the slopestyle, Kim Lamarre was the top Canadian in sixth, while Dara Howell was 11th and Tsubota 13th. Norway's Johanne Killi took the win, trailed by Hoefflin and Tanno.

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