The penultimate event of the 2021 Grand Prix Series, Internationaux de France, takes place in Grenoble, Nov. 19-21. The rivalries at this competition will be fierce with some of the spots at the Grand Prix Final already booked.
Anna Shcherbakova of Russia headlines the women′s field. She needs to finish first or second to secure a place at the Final. Her teammates Alena Kostornaia and Kseniia Sinitsyna will also be in the hunt to claim a step on the podium. Wakaba Higuchi of Japan will be looking to build on her victory at the 2021 Cup of Austria last weekend. Three American women are slated to compete: Karen Chen, Mariah Bell and Starr Andrews.
Japan′s Yuma Kagiyama enters the men′s event as the one to beat, given his runaway victories at the Asian Open Figure Skating Trophy in early October, and his come-from-behind win at the Gran Premio D′Italia two weeks ago. Jason Brown, who will make this third appearance in eight years, will be looking to continue his run of podium finishes at this competition (bronze in 2013, silver in 2018). If Canada′s Keegan Messing can keep his nerves under control he will also be a medal contender.
The pairs discipline is a question mark. Russia′s Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii will be looking to improve on their bronze-medal finish at Skate America. Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier of the U.S. will also be chasing a step on the podium after finishing fourth in Las Vegas, just 2.56 points behind the Russian duo. This will be somewhat of a homecoming and a debut for Vanessa James, whose Grand Prix career began in France 13 years ago.
Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, competing in what will likely be the last Grand Prix of their career, will be the stars of the show. With one win under their belt at the Italian Grand Prix, they need to finish first or second in Grenoble to book a ticket to the Final. As with the French team, this will likely be the last Grand Prix hurrah for Canada′s Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier. After winning Skate Canada, they will also be chasing the top step of the podium.
This competition overlaps with the Challenger Series event 2021 Warsaw Cup.