Bansko is back on the World Cup Tour, with three men’s competitions held this weekend in the Bulgarian resort in the Pirin mountains. The racing week-end started today with an alpine combined, made of a super-g run and a slalom. A race in which all five World Champions from Åre 2019 participated.
In that discipline, there is one active skier that’s dominating the field. It’s the reigning World Champion Alexis Pinturault. The Frenchman showed a very strong super-g performance in the morning, where he was less than 0.20 off the pace of speed specialists like Mauro Caviezel and Vincent Kriechmayr. In the second run, he could demonstrate his slalom skills, that reached a new level this season, and take the win of this alpine combined in Bansko. With that success, he also won the discipline standings, for the 5th time in his career, and joined Carole Merle for the French record with 22 World Cup wins.
Marcel Hirscher finished in second place of the alpine combined. After a super-g run where he didn’t push his limits, the Austrian set the fastest time in the slalom and was able to move up from 20th place to the podium. Despite being the reigning Olympic Champion and the World Champion 2015, Hirscher has never won an alpine combined on the World Cup Tour. Today he collected his 6th podium in that discipline.
Slovenia took the third spot on the podium with Stefan Hadalin. The tech whiz was a Junior World Champion in alpine combined in 2016, but focused on slalom since he made his debut on the World Cup Tour. This was successful, as he managed to clock the fastest times in some slalom runs this season, and claimed a career best 8th place in Saalbach-Hinterglemm. But he still has great skill in speed as well and one week after his sensational second place at the World Championships alpine combined, he confirmed with his first World Cup podium in career.
Unfortunately, the winner of the Wengen alpine combined Marco Schwarz injured himself on the landing of the finish jump. A knee injury is suspected. The Austrian young gun, who was 4th of the Overall standings, flew back home for further medical checks.
Tomorrow the action will go on with a super-g race on the Marc Girardelli course, and a giant slalom will conclude the 2019 races in Bansko on Sunday.
Results are available here: Bansko AC
Quotes from the Top 3 are available here: Soundcloud