First Giant Slalom victory for Alexis Pinturault
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Alexis Pinturault finally grasps his first career’s victory in Giant Slalom after a fantastic second run in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Not event the two big Giant Slalom favorites, Marcel Hirscher and Ted Ligety were able to beat his combined time of 2 minutes 32.42 seconds, but they both got very close, finishing in second and third place, 0.60 and 0.63 seconds behind respectively.
Local Felix Neureuther who was leading after the first run was having a great second run until he caught some snow with his boot, a mistake which cost him a spot on the podium and probably the victory. He finished his race in 12th position, 2.47 seconds behind Pinturault.
“It was a tough day here today but it was also a big race, a great race I should say,” Pinturault said right after his victory. “In 2009 I won here the Junior World Championships and I knew it’s a hill where I could do well so I couldn’t have been happier to have won my first Giant Slalom here.”
Hirscher has been strugglying with a post Schladming bug but he didn’t let his health get in the way of yet another podium finish.
“It was really difficult to ski here today,” a visibly tired Hirscher said after his run. “The ideal line was in good shape but the moment you got out of it there was a bit of snow on the side and it was really easy to make a mistake, it’s what I think happened to Felix.”
Everyone seems to keep asking which and how many globes he can take home from the Finals in Lenzerheide but Hirscher seems not to be bothered by the statistics.
“I’ll try and take all the points I can get, I don’t think about the globes yet and all these calculations seem more like speculations to me, there are eight races until the end of the season, I will for sure compete in four and for the rest we will see how things develop.”
Ligety has his eyes on the discipline title and any points he can get could be extremely valuable now that the season end is approaching.
“It’s a tricky hill,” Ligety said. “Lots of sharp rolls where you need to be precise and flat parts where you want to keep your speed. You have to take some risks if you want to be fast and I did. Unfortunately I ended up in the soft snow and on my hip, but no matter what I think there was no catching Alexis today. He had a big mistake in the first run and still stayed close to the top guys, so I think he was the best skier here today and he deserved the victory.”
Ligety also had a few nice words for Neureuther, having experienced himself being in the lead in the first run and making a mistake in the second which cost him the victory.
“I just told Felix that he was skiing fast before the mistake and that it’s something that can easily happen when you are leading and are fighting hard. I know the feeling.”