Unbelievable Pinturault wins fourth straight
Alexis Pinturault (FRA( took an amazing fourth straight victory on the men's Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour in today's giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, a replacement race from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Conditions on the Podkoren race hill were tough, because of yesterday‘s snowfall and today’s warm temperatures. The start had to be lowered, but thanks to tireless work of the course crew, the conditions were safe and fair for all the participants.
the man setting the standards in giant slalom continued to be Alexis Pinturault. After winning the last three giant slaloms of the season, Pinturault was the „one-to-watch“ in Kranjska Gora. He definitely kept up to his reputation as he took his fourth straight giant slalom win and now sits only 91 points behind Marcel Hirscher in the giant slalom standings thanks to his late season surge.
"I feel great, for sure,“ said Pinturault. "After a victory, it is always something special. It is a special moment. It was a great, tough race today. What about tomorrow? We'll see, because it's going to be not the same as today. We're expecting rain, so that's going to be really hard mentally."
In second position, Austria’s Philipp Schörghofer seemed to fly over the bumps and finally laid down two very strong runs, finishing only +0.47 behind Pinturault. Schoerghofer has been very constant this season, with six Top 15, but he struggled to claim a position on the podium. In Kranjska Gora, he came back to his 2010/11 shape and claimed the fifth World Cup podium of his career.
"The feeling is amazing for me,“ said Schoerghofer. "It's been such a long time, it was four years ago since I last stood on the podium. I skied very well, but the big mistake in the second run was huge, but after that I risked it all and at the finish line, the green light is there and I was very surprised and very happy about my second place."
Overall leader Marcel Hirscher earned his 16th podium of the season, the seventh out of eight in giant slalom. Despite the pressure and a disappointing first run, the Austrian skied at his best level in the second run and grabbed third place. Hirscher is currently leading the Overall World Cup points and could take the title for the fifth consecutive season.
"After the first run," said Hirscher, "we were searching [why the first run wasn't that good] and coaches and experts were in-between bad skiing and a bad start number. But as you can see with the second run, my skiing is not too bad at the moment. It is another 60 points for the overall, and another 60 points for the GS ranking."
A second giant slalom race is scheduled on Saturday and a slalom on Sunday in Kranjska Gora, both starting at 09.30 / 12.30 CET.