Friday, January 22

Alpine skiing: Pinturault wins a royal final in Lech

The two skiers, helmed for years by Austrian Marcel Hirscher, are scheduled to win the big crystal globe. Surprised last season by Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Pinturault 2nd and Kristoffersen 3rd), they started this winter hard to catch up: the French now leads the general classification with 150 points ahead of the Norwegian (125 points).

Second in the morning qualifying (the 16 best qualifiers), Alexis Pinturault then completed a clear round eliminating the Austrian Dominik Raschner, the Swiss Semyel Bissig then the German Alexander Schmid, finally 3rd, to clear his way in the final.

Dominant on the first run (16 hundredths ahead), Pinturault managed to keep 14 hundredths of a margin during a breathless second run.

The Courchevel skier thus garners a 30th victory in his ten-year career in the World Cup, being by far the best French ahead of Carole Merle (22).

This is his second success in a parallel format, after winning the Moscow parallel slalom in February 2012, then his first World Cup victory.

Above all, he quickly erases a painful spring where the multiple cancellations of races due to the health crisis had prevented him from defending his chances against Kilde in an a priori favorable season.

– Source only 14th –

Faithful to his usual aggressiveness, Henrik Kristoffersen was able to put out his best ski at the foot of the wall to avoid disappointment: dominated by the German Stefan Luitz, best time in qualifying, on the first round of their quarter-final, the Norwegian then released the big game until the final.

His compatriot Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, holder of the Big Globe title usually at ease on this type of format, made a mistake which cost him dearly from the round of 16, finally taking only 14th place.

Two other French were qualified for the final table: Mathieu Faivre finished 10th, Thibaut Favrot 15th.

The scenario of the day offered great publicity to the parallel, which the International Ski Federation (FIS) has been trying to highlight for several years.

After trying several formulas, the FIS stopped on a single format, with turns and giant doors. Above all, it now organizes round-trip matches in the final table to prevent a skier from having an advantage on a slightly faster route, after recurring complaints from athletes.

However, the health crisis has led the federation to reduce the number of parallels this season: Lech is organizing the only individual race in the World Cup, in addition to the one scheduled for the Worlds in Cortina (Italy) in February.

The skiers now have an appointment in Santa Caterina di Valfurva next Saturday and Sunday, the Italian resort having taken over the two giants planned for Val d’Isère where the snow cover is insufficient.





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