Saturday, February 13, 2016
Alexis Pinturault Wins Yuzawa Naeba Giant Slalom
In second position after the first run, Frenchman Alexis Pinturault skied a very strong second run and claimed the win +0.51 ahead of teammate Mathieu Faivre and +0.67 of Italy's Massimiliano Blardone.
This is Pinturault's second win of the season, after the Alpine Combined in Kitzbuehel. To win in a GS is special for the 25 years old athlete, especially on this kind of hill. "The race today was not really easy", Said Pinturault. "It was really difficult to attack and control because some gates were quite bumpy in the seconds run and there was also some nice terrain at the end. Some gates you have to control and some gates you have to attack so you really have to be smart". Today, Pinturault reached his 30th career podium finish.
Mathieu Faivre, 24 years old Giant Slalom specialist born in Nice, grabbed his first career podium today. "I'm very happy about my first World Cup podium", said Faivre. "I've had a good season so far with a lot of top 10s. I've been getting closer and closer and today, I am on the podium. The course was not easy, it was bumpy and there were a lot of gates where you could lose time, but I made it". With this strong performance, Faivre takes the 3rd place of the current Giant Slalom standings.
Even though we had a maiden podium, the good surprise of the day came from Massimiliano Blardone. With 37 years, the Italian is one of the most experienced on the World Cup circuit and he worked very hard to claim more podium placements in his last season. "For me, it was a special day today", said Blardone. "I am extremely happy. I've worked very hard to reach this podium. I want to dedicate this to my two kids and thank them for their support. What made the difference today was my experience. In this race, you needed to know at which points to hold back and at what point you can let go".