Gilles and Poirier stand third after rhythm dance at Internationaux de France

GRENOBLE, France – Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto are on track for a second ISU Grand Prix medal this season standing third after the rhythm dance at Les Internationaux de France, the sixth stop on the circuit.

World champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France are first with 84.13 points, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia are second at 77.91 and Gilles and Poirier follow at 74.25.

The Canadians were also third at Skate Canada earlier this month.

“After having an error at Skate Canada we really wanted to make sure we skated the program clean here,” said Poirier. “We didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves. We were really good about managing our energy output. We paced the program really well and felt really in the moment with the performance.”

Gilles says the rhythm dance still isn’t where they want it to be.

“We still need to work on our levels,” she said. “We always feel a little bit inconsistent it seems but we have to sit with our coaches and see where we can improve our scores.”

In pairs, Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii of Russia are in first place. Camille Ruest of Rimouski, Que., and Andrew Wolfe of Calgary are fifth.

“We’re really pleased with that short program,” said Ruest. “We worked hard to increase our speed and to improve the performance aspect of our skating.”

In men’s competition, the top-three after the short program are Jason Brown of the U.S., Alexander Samarin of Russia and world champion Nathan Chen of the U.S.

Nicolas Nadeau of Blainville, Que., is 11th.

Competition ends Saturday with all four free skates.

Full results:

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