The French National Championships begin this weekend, and this post will focus on the mens event.
Grand Prix Finalist Florent Amodio has already secured one of the three entries to the European Championships after his successful start to the season, while a handful of other men are competing for the remaining two spots.
Reigning World bronze medalist Brian Joubert doesn't have much to show yet this season: he was off the podium at the Cup of China, and he withdrew after the short program at Trophee Eric Bompard. Joubert has tried to work with new styles for his programs this season, particularly his long program in which he skates to Beethoven. I'm not convinced that he is fully comfortable with either program just yet, but Brian seems to always be one who pulls it together in the second half of the season. It is no fluke that he's been on the podium at six of the last seven World Championships, and all nine European Championships that he has attended.
Alban Preaubert has to be one of the biggest models of consistency I have ever seen. He delivers clean programs nearly every time out, but his overall skating quality and lack of polish hold him back. Alban had consistent outings on the Grand Prix, but only finished 5th and 6th in his events. He is another skater that has strayed away from his usual comical programs for the free skate, and instead skates to a Schubert piece that remains at the same dynamic throughout. Another consistent outing here should probably be enough to get him on the podium, where he'll most likely have to battle it out with Amodio and Joubert at the European Championships for the two Tokyo Worlds berths.
The aforementioned Trophee Eric Bompard short program found Joubert not only behind Amodio, but also trailing Chafik Besseghier. When he is on, he has absolutely huge jumps and an excitement behind his skating. However, he showed just a day later at Bompard that he still is new to this level of skating and completely fell apart in the first half of his free skate. If he can pull two solid programs together this weekend, he may have a chance at challenging Preaubert or a completely-off Joubert.
Thomas Sosniak and Romain Ponsart both competed on the Junior Grand Prix this season, showing very respectable results. They should most likely round out the top six.