Pinturault leading GS 1st run in Kranjska Gora
The 55th edition of the Vitranc Cup kicked off today with a first Giant Slalom, replacing the cancelled race of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. As most of central Europe, Kranjska Gora had a strange winter, with very few snowfall and high temperatures. But winter decided to break in right before the traditional Pokal Vitranc week-end in Slovenia, and over 50 cm of fresh snow fell down on the race track in the past days. Therefore, despite tireless work of the course crew, the start of today’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup Giant Slalom had to be lowered.
One man is setting the standards in Giant Slalom, whether the course is long, or short, turny or straight, icy or soft. It’s Frenchman Alexis Pinturault. After having won the 3 last Giant Slaloms of the season, and coming back only 131 points behind standing leader Marcel Hirscher, Pinturault is the „one-to-watch“ in the Kranjska Gora Giant Slaloms and he defintiviely kept up to his reputation.
In second position, Austira’s Philipp Schörghofer seemed to fly over the bumps and laid down a very strong run, only +0.34 behind the leader. He has been very constant this season, with six Top 16, but struggled to claim a position on the podium. Maybe something triggered on the Podkoren course and Schörghofer will be back on the podium, where he already stood 4 times in his career.
Felix Neureuther took the 3rd place, +0.51 off Pinturault’s pace. The German was happy about his first run and is optimistic about the second run: „You need to know when to let go the skis on this hill, especially with this course setting and with a short course like today. You need to push hard from the very first gate on.“
Marcel Hirscher is 7th +0.82 behind and Henrik Kristoffersen 6th +0.80.
Second run starts at 12.30. Make sure you tune in and follow the fight for the 9th men’s Giant Slalom of the season.