For the fans in Val d’Isere, the wait for today’s Audi FIS World Cup slalom race was worth the wait as Frenchman Alexis Pinturault dominated the field picking up the victory with a 1.44 second margin. It was his 25th career World Cup podium, but his first in slalom in nearly six years.
Second place went to Olympic champion Andre Myhrer (SWE), while Italian Stefano Gross rounded out the podium just 0.03 seconds behind Myhrer.
After a strong storm pounded Val d’Isere the last two days, today’s blue skies were a welcome sight for the races. Yesterday, there was some hope that the slalom could be staged after Herculean efforts by the Val d’Isere Organizers, but ultimately the strong winds forced the cancellation.
In the end, the long days and wait were well worth it for the French. Pinturault already gave the fans hope with his strong first run, coming out with bib one, taking a 0.59 lead into the second run.
The course set of the first run challenged many of the competitors, including slalom ace Henrik Kristoffersen, who eked into the second run in 26th place. Kristoffersen turned his fortunes in the second run, laying down the fastest time in the field and catapulting into fourth place.
Luke Winters (USA) and Ramon Zehnhaeusern (SUI) were in prime position to for a podium finish after the first run, but costly mistakes in the second run knocked them out of contention.
Today’s slalom was raced instead of the planned giant slalom, due to the course preparation needed after the hard storm. A replacement date for the missed giant slalom will be communicated in due course.
The men’s tour now leaves the French Alps and heads to Italy, where the speed stars will get their first taste of Europe this season with the races in Val Gardena.