Photo Credit Romina Eggert
KRANJ, Slovenia (July 10th, 2017) – Kevin Bickner led the way for team USA this past weekend at the first Continental Cups of the 2017/2018 season in Kranj, Slovenia. Bickner, who is coming off a strong finish to the winter season, posted a career high 3rd place on Saturday in the second of two competitions in as many days.
After jumping to only 15th in the first round, Bickner had the longest jump of the weekend in the second round flying 115 meters on the K100. The huge jump moved Kevin to the top of the leader board for most of the round and, after the last jumper had landed, Kevin was able to hang on to the podium with 238 points.
Poland’s Klemens Muranka took the top spot on Saturday with 253.6 points. Slovenia’s Rok Justin took second with 242.6 points.
Other top North American finishers on Saturday included Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes in 16th with 221.3 points, Will Rhoads in 23rd with 216.6 points, and Michael Glasder in 28th with 211.9 points.
“The weekend went pretty well, there was improvement on the same competition last year,” Bickner told USANS following the competition. “It was my best Continental Cup result…I was able to do what I was working on on the hill.” While happy with his result, Bickner was focused on the future as he always is, “There’s always more stuff to work on; I’ll see if I can improve on this weekend next weekend.”
Friday night proved a little more difficult for the mens team. Competition was extremely tight with every jumper in the top 30 flying at least 100 meters just to qualify for the second round. As he did on Saturday, Klemens Muranka of Poland finished in first place with 284.7 points. Second place was claimed by Miran Zupancic of Slovenia with 282.8 points. And Bor Pavlovcic took third with 281.4 points.
Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes posted the highest North American result in 16th with 264.4 points. Bickner was just behind in 17th with 264.3 points. Michael Glasder was consistent with another 28th place on Friday, finishing with 211.9 points. Casey Larsen, who didn’t compete on Saturday, jumped a respectable 97 meters on Friday, just missing the cut for the second round.
The team will remain in Kranj for a few days of training before heading to Wisla, Poland, for the first summer Grand Prix competitions of the season on the 14th and 15th.
Alex Glueck and Romina Eggert contributed to this article.
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