PARIS -- Olympic runners-up Pang Qing and Tong Jian took the lead in the pairs competition at the Trophee Bompard after the short program on Friday.
The Chinese pair scored 67.69 points to edge out world bronze medallists Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford into second place with 66.07.
"We've never won this event and this is our last season, so it will be our last chance," the 34-year-old Tong said through a translator. "As it's the last time, it's also a little bit nostalgic. The crowd is always very welcoming here."
The Canadians were among the favourites but Duhamel landed heavily early on when attempting a triple lutz. They led after the short at Skate Canada last month but slipped from first to third after a flawed free skate.
"We felt that we skated the program better than we did at Skate Canada," Duhamel said. "Obviously there's a big mistake and that's three years in a row where we find ourselves second after the short program so I guess that's our place. We will do better in the long program and I will land a triple lutz."
Competing in their first Grand Prix of the season, Russians Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov are in third place with 65.67.
"I made a mistake on the jump, which was unexpected," Bazarova said through a translator.
Later, three-time world champion Patrick Chan faces rising Chinese star Yan Han. The 17-year-old Yan, the 2012 junior world champ, won the Cup of China this month.