Saturday, December 10, 2016

Alexis Pinturault Wins World Cup GS in Val d'Isère


Just like last week, the suspense around the second run of the Giant Slalom at Val d’Isère was big, with local Alexis Pinturault in the lead after first run, more than half a second ahead, and holding on in second run to claim his first GS win on "La Face". Globe winner Marcel Hirscher is the only one that came close being +0.33 off the pace. Henrik Kristoffersen grabbed his first podium spot of the podium this season.
The French winning streak in Giant Slalom went on at the Criterium de la Première Neige in Val d’Isère, with Alexis Pinturault taking the 8th win in the 9 last giant slaloms for France! The Alpine Combined globe winner and second of last year’s overall standings got injured in training on Wednesday, but it didn’t stop him from charging the course and taking the win, the 17th of his career.
"I won my first World Cup in Val d'Isere. It was in slalom and then I was always on the first place so I wanted to be on the podium today and at least I am on the top of the podium, so, perfect. It was difficult because for the warmup, I get so much problem with my hand and finally with adrenaline the pain went out".
Second place came to Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian is the only one that could challenge Pinturault in his strongest discipline, skiing stronger and stronger, to finally lay down the fastest second run. Three Giant Slalom, three podium placements for Marcel Hirscher this season. Even though he didn’t grab a win yet, there is no frustration for the discipline globe winner from last year.
"The only thing I can say is that my first run was definitely not what I was expecting. I had a really great feeling before this race and the first run was a really big 'wow' effect for myself, but the second run was way better. I tried my best and finally reached the podium for another time and I'm very happy with today's result in general but I'm a little bit pissed off about the first run."
Henrik Kristoffersen had a difficult start in the season, finishing 8th in Sölden and Val d’Isère last week, and skipping the Levi slalom race because of a conflict with his federation. Today was a step in the right direction, with an impressive second run that brought him back from 12th position to the podium.
"My first run was not good. Second run didn't feel much better but I think it was way faster, so I'm a little surprised to be sitting here, honestly. I think it feels bad for everybody on this hill. It's the toughest GS in the world so that's pretty natural, but I feel like I'm missing something a little bit. The second run was a step in the right direction, but we're not there yet but getting closer I guess".

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