Giant Slalom King Marcel Hirscher takes the win and the globe
According to several athletes, today‘s Audi FIS Ski World Cup Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora was one of the toughest of the season. Only the best skiers of the world could pretend to claim the Vitranc Cup win, and right know, Alexis Pinturault and Marcel Hirscher are the ones setting the pace in Giant Slalom, whatever the conditions.
Already in the first run, the two Giants were leading the first run, with Hirscher +0.41 ahead of Pinturault. But in the second run, the Frenchman laid down a very strong run, winning time at almost every split. If he wanted to claim the win and secure the Giant Slalom globe, Marcel Hirscher had to push hard and risk it all.
And that's exactly what he did. Marcel Hirscher earned his 17th podium of the season, his 7th season win, his 38th career win, and even more important, his 10th World Cup globe !
"First run was maybe the most difficult run I have ever skied in eight years of World Cup giant slalom," said Hirscher. "It was so bumpy and rough. Second run with the shorter distance was quite difficult because conditions changed a little bit. The crowd was amazing so I exactly knew that Henrik and Alexis had done it really great so I knew I had to give my 100 percent personal best. I tried as hard as possible for me and took the risk of winning or losing for me and I won."
Alexis Pinturault, who came very close to Marcel Hirscher in the Giant Slalom standings thanks to his 4 wins in a row (Naeba, Hinterstoder, Hinterstoder, Kranjska Gora), took the second place of today’s slalom, +0.53 off Hirscher’s pace. Even though the battle for the globe is now over, Pinturault is 111 points behind with only one Giant Slalom to go, the Frenchman is happy about the turn his season took.
"First run was really tough because it was super hard and icy," said Pinturault. "I think it was on the limit in the first run more than on the second run. Obviously, it was a good fight. I tried to make my best, but Marcel was stronger than me today. I didn't lose the globe today, I lose the globe from the beginning of the winter, so this way I am not disappointed."
Behind the two Giants, young gun Henrik Kristoffersen impressed by grabbing the third place despite back pain and a problem with his pole. With this good performance, Kristoffersen still has a mathematical chance in the fight for the Overall Globe, and it probably gave him confidence for tomorrow’s Slalom, where he is the „one-to-chase“.
"First run was one of the bumpiest GS I've ever done on the World Cup," said Kristoffersen. "I tried to push it in the second run, Marcel was so fast today. Overall, I have to be pretty happy with the day. Marcel and Alexis are the two best GS racers in the world this year for sure without a doubt and I think I'm not too far off saying I'm the third, but I still have a bit of a way to go before I'm at their level."
Tomorrow, the show goes on with an Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom at Kranjska Gora, starting at 09.30 / 12.30 CET.
Click here for full results.
Click here for cup standings.