Alexis Pinturault is Back to the Top of the Podium in Alta Badia Giant Slalom
It was a fascinating race today in a physically demanding Gran Risa Giant Slalom course.
And Alexis Pinturault has shown all his ski toolset to win in Alta Badia.
“It was really close. It was a huge fight, (...) The light was slowly going down because it started to be a little bit late. It made such a difference in the pitch. But I tried my best and pushed really hard and it paid off”, Pinturault said.
It's the first victory for Pinturault on this slope, the 15th overall in Giant Slalom, with the French skier joining Alberto Tomba in fifth place all-time among Men standings in the discipline.
"It's something really special, this slope is definitely a big classic and I am happy to finally have won here for the first time!", said Pinturault.
“I am very satisfied that I can have 15 wins in Giant Slalom. This discipline is the most important for me”, Pinturault added.
Alexis Pinturault had finished in the top five in each of the three World Cup Giant Slalom events this season but he been unable until today to get on the podium.
Pinturault is the fourth man to win a World Cup Giant Slalom event in at least eight different countries, after Ingemar Stenmark (14), Marcel Hirscher (9), and Michael von Grünigen (9).
Before today's Pinturault victory two Frenchmen have won the Alta Badia Giant Slalom in the World Cup: Joël Chenal on 19 December 1999 and Frederic Covili on 16 December 2001.
With his 31st World Cup Win, Alexis Pinturault takes over the lead in the Overall World Cup standings with 376 points.
In the second place, Norwegian Atle Lie McGrath, who finished second after an outstanding race started with bib 29. The winner of the 2019-2020 Overall Europa Cup, born in 2000 just a couple of days after his teammate Braathen, conquers his first podium, and top ten, closing only 0.07 seconds behind Pinturault.
The 20-year-old skier surprised by posting the fourth-fastest time in the first run, and he managed to improve on that by taking the lead in the second.
“This was really unbelievable, (...) My goal today was to have fun. My first time skiing the Gran Risa from the top, such a nice day, the slope was beautiful. I told myself to enjoy the moment and ski as well as I can. It is so fun when you do your best and you really succeed”, McGrath said.
It's a special day also for Justin Murisier. The Swiss man showed incredible skiing, especially in the second run, climbing up eight positions to finish third 0.24 seconds behind.
Murisier celebrates his first career podium, proving his feeling with the Gran Risa after he had finished fourth on the same slope in 2017.