Pinturault takes it all in Chamonix
The 3rd Alpine Combined of the season was staged today in Chamonix. Due to challenging weather conditions, the slalom run has been done in the morning, and the athletes went down the famous „Verte des Houches“ downhill in the afternoon.
At least since their podium sweep in Kitzbuehel, the French team is the absolute favourite in the Alpine Combined, and after the slalom run, three French atheltes were leading the ranking: Alexis Pinturault first, Thomas Mermillod Blondin (+0.36) second and Victor Muffat-Jeandet (+0.37) third.
The start time oft he afternoon’s downhill run had to be delayed several times, but in the end, a full alpine combined could be delivered, and the decision for the discipline has been done.
France’s Alexis Pinturault clocked the fastest time in front of his home crowd and in the same time, he claimed the Alpine Combined standing 2015/16.
„I didn’t realise right away that I won,“ said Pinturault. „I saw the flags and heard the crowd screaming, but I couldn’t believe it. Finally I saw the timing board and yes, I won. For me it’s a very important win. First because I was leading in the first run and in the Alpine Combined standings, this means a lot of pressure, and then I had to ski a track that I’m not used to, I’m not a downhiller. So at the start I was really nervous, so the emotions in the finish were even stronger.“
In second position, Italy’s Dominik Paris skied strong and made it to his second podium of the season.
„I did a mistake in the slalom,“ said Paris. „So at the beginning I was a little big angry. But in the end I’m very happy with my result, especially with the downhill run. At the beginning of the season I would not have tought that I would be on an Alpine Combined podium, I only train slalom 6-8 times a season. But as I saw there is a chance, I tried everything and pushed hard.
Another Frenchman earned a podium spot: it’s Alpine Combined specialist Thomas Mermillod-Blondin.
„Physically I’m not 100% due to my crash in Korea,“ said Mermillod-Blondin. „My hip still hurts and I’m struggling to let go and ski high speed. And with the two catastrophic downhill training runs I had, the confidence was defititively not at the highest level. But thanks to a good bib number I could control the damage in the slalom and then I just risked it in the downhill. I was not even sure to race today, so this podium is very special for me.“
Tomorrow, a downhill will be staged on the same course, starting at 12.15.