Marco Odermatt won the Giant Slalom in Val d'Isere, with Alexis Pinturault second and Manuel Feller third.
Odermatt led after a first run in challenging conditions with a time of 1:07.46 but just 0.33s split the Swiss star and third-placed Filip Zubčić, with Pinturault in second just 0.32s back.
Skiers had been hamstrung by compromised visibility after storms led to record-breaking overnight snowfall of 60cm. Improved conditions for the second run saw Henrik Kristoffersen – a four-time GS World Cup winner – as the first skier to record a combined time of sub two minute 14 seconds (2:13.90). However, he was soon supplanted by Feller, who set a time of 2:13.55.
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When Zubčić – the third-from-last skier out of the gate - DNF’d Feller was assured of a second GS podium of his career, but with Pinturault and Odermatt – first and second respectively in the overall and GS standings last season – to come, the 29-year-old Austrian knew his chances of being on the top step were limited.
Pinturault’s combined time of 2:12.90 took him provisional first but Odermatt (2:12.31) denied the Frenchman the win on home slopes to strike what could prove a decisive psychological blow as the season progresses.
“I feel amazing,” said Odermatt after the race.
It was probably the worst preparation of a race I have ever done. So, to be able to ski the way I did and win the race is very cool.
The win leaves Odermatt top of the GS standings with an unbeaten record. He is also top of the overall standings, with Pinturault in fourth.
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