Volosozhar, Trankov sleep with lead in Moscow
Russians grab top two spots in pairs short; Denney, Coughlin pull into third
|Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov are on track for their second Grand Prix gold of the season. (Getty Images)|
Volosozhar and Trankov produced a Level 4 triple twist, a side-by-side triple Salchow, difficult lift, footwork and side-by-side spin in their routine to The Godfather. The world silver medalists set a new personal best for themselves with 74.74 points.
"This was the best performance of our three competitions this season, but we still can skate better than that," Trankov said. "We are especially happy that we got a Level 4 for our twist for the first time. We skated with expression and created a new image."
Bazarova and Larionov's performance to "Liebestraum" was highlighted by a triple twist, throw triple loop and lift with changes of position. However, Larionov's triple toe was shaky. The European silver medalists picked up 66.02 points.
"We took a long time to focus because we really wanted to skate well," Larionov said. "I made a little mistake on the jump, but I tried to put it behind me and to move on."
Denney and Coughlin completed a triple twist, side-by-side triple toe and throw triple flip to earn 59.02 points.
"We are always excited to skate in Russia, especially as the home country of the upcoming Olympics," Coughlin said. "We're excited to be in third place in such a strong field and look forward to skate an even better free skate."