At this point in the Grand Prix series, we will be just past the halfway mark, which means that we will be seeing a few familiar faces who had already made their GP debuts. But that doesn't mean that we won't see any new faces. In fact, the home team will have its newly-crowned World ice dance champions starting their Grand Prix and looking to distance themselves this season. Oh but wait, there's more! The Olympic pairs champs are also back!
Related: 2015 Trophee Bompard entrants
1. Papadakis/Cizeron return as World champs
It's hard to imagine 12 months ago that Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron would have the season that they would end up having. After all, they went into the season having finished 15th at Euros and 13th at Worlds and never medaling at the Grand Prix. They ended up having one of the most incredible sophomore year breakthroughs ever, winning every competition they entered except one (bronze at the Grand Prix Final). These two had star potential oozing from every edge, and they capitalized on their memorable free dance to notch a come-from-behind win at Worlds.
2. Volosozhar/Trankov return
It felt just a little empty without Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov last season, taking the post-Olympic season off after demolishing the field to win gold in Sochi. They come back to a different landscape, a landscape littered with quads. They will face one of those quads in Cheng Peng/Hao Zhang's quad twist.
3. Korpi back after 3-year absence
It was definitely not self-imposed, but it's been three years since Kiira Korpi has competed on the Grand Prix. Injuries have not been kind to her last 2 1/2 seasons, and she's coming off a terrible Worlds, where she finished 31st in the short and didn't qualify for the free skate. Let's hope she turns it around early this new season.
4. Super ladies field
World champ Elizaveta Tuktamysheva will want to show Bompard who's boss, especially with teammate Julia Lipnitskaia and former U.S. champ Gracie Gold both in the field. Let's also not forget the resurgent (as of late last season) Kanako Murakami, who is looking for her 6th Grand Prix medal. A new face to watch for is Latvia's Angelina Kuchvalska, who was 7th at Europeans last season. She will be making her Grand Prix debut in her first full senior season.
5. Ten looking for a good GP
It's hard to believe that a Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World medalist has never been higher than third at a Grand Prix (this will be his 13th GP appearance - he's got Skate America a few weeks before to start off). But Denis Ten has never been known for his early-season consistency. He did manage to not have to wait until the very last competition to skate well last year, so maybe this Grand Prix series is going to be different for him. But in the meantime, take a look at his incredible winning free skate from Four Continents.