Pinturault claims giant slalom win on "La Face"
Just like last week, the suspense around the second run of the Giant Slalom at Val d’Isère was big, with local Alexis Pinturault in the lead after first run, more than half a second ahead, and holding on in second run to claim his first giant slalom win on “La Face”. Globe winner Marcel Hirscher finished +0.33 off the pace, while Henrik Kristoffersen grabbed his first podium spot of the season.
The French winning streak in the giant slalom continued in Val d’Isère, with Alexis Pinturault taking the eighth win in the nine last giant slaloms for France. The Alpine Combined globe winner got injured in training on Wednesday, but it didn’t stop him from charging the course and taking the win, the 17th of his career.
"I won my first World Cup in Val d'Isere. It was in slalom and then I was always on the first place so I wanted to be on the podium today and at least I am on the top of the podium, so, perfect. It was difficult because for the warm-up, I get so much problem with my hand and finally with adrenaline the pain went out."
Second place went to Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian is the only one that came close to Pinturault in his strongest discipline. It was the third giant slalom podium in as many races for Marcel Hirscher this season. Even though he didn’t grab a win yet, there is no frustration for the discipline globe winner from last year.
"The only thing I can say is that my first run was definitely not what I was expecting. I had a really great feeling before this race and the first run was a really big 'wow' effect for myself, but the second run was way better. I tried my best and finally reached the podium for another time and I'm very happy with today's result in general but I'm a little bit pissed off about the first run."
Henrik Kristoffersen had a difficult start to the season, finishing eighth in Sölden and Val d’Isère last week, and skipping the Levi slalom race. Today was a step in the right direction, with an impressive second run that brought him back from 12th position to the podium.
"My first run was not good. Second run didn't feel much better but I think it was way faster, so I'm a little surprised to be sitting here, honestly. I think it feels bad for everybody on this hill. It's the toughest GS in the world so that's pretty natural, but I feel like I'm missing something a little bit. The second run was a step in the right direction, but we're not there yet but getting closer I guess."
The tech racers will be in action again tomorrow, with a slalom on “La Face” starting at 09.30 / 12.30 CET.