Sochi 2014 Olympian James Woods laid down a marker of intent for the rest of the season as he won gold at the first FIS Ski Slopestyle World Cup of the 2015/2016 season in Cardrona, New Zealand. The event formed part of the Winter Games NZ with Sheffield-born skier Woods the one to beat with a winning run score of 93.40.
That was enough to beat reigning Olympian champion Joss Christensen who took bronze with 87.20 while Norway’s Oystein Braaten finished second with 89.90.
The victory continued a strong run of form for Woods who recently won the North Face Freeski Open for a second year in a row.
And while he was the only competitor to score over 90 points, opening with 90.20 before posting his winning run, Woods admitted it had not all been plain sailing.
"Just being on the start list and competing with these guys is an absolute honour. It genuinely took a couple of days to really find your flow,” said Woods, who will compete in the Big Air final on Sunday.
“Usually it's like, this line is good, this line is the easy one, this is the hard one. There was no easy or hard line on those rails, it was a challenge for the best of us." © Sportsbeat 2015