Loic Meillard Bags His Maiden Victory in the World Cup in Chamonix
A maiden victory in the World Cup for Loic Meillard who won the Big Final against Thomas Tumler. With this success, Meillard also wins the Parallel Giant Slalom World Cup and will be awarded the small globe at the finals in Cortina! Meillard was enthusiastic at the end of the race: "It's always amazing to win a World Cup race, I have been skiing well in Giant Slalom lately and taking a win today close to home is special for me". For Thomas Tumler is his second World Cup podium, and the first one this season.
But according to Meillard, the win was not all about good skiing. There was also a strong element of luck, which affected the outcome, he said. "[Parallel] is difficult for the body, but it also needs a lot of luck now that we don’t have the re-run", commented Meillard. "You need to be in the right course because it’s impossible to have two same ones. I was lucky today because I always had the blue ones and it seemed to be a bit faster".
In the Small Final Alexander Schmid beat Tommy Ford to achieve his first World Cup podium in an individual event.
Despite the ski piste known as ‘La Verte’ in Les Houches has been reconfigured to host the Parallel Giant Slalom., the race confirmed the trend that one course often tends to be faster than the other. The Parallel Giant Slalom continues to cause unrest among athletes competing on the World Cup circuit. After the event in Chamonix, Alexis Pinturault and other athletes took to social media to express their concerns about the fairness, quality, and safety of the event. For instance, in the 1/8 Finals, the athlete skiing on the blue course never lost.
Alexis Pinturault took to Instagram after the race to express his negative feelings about the Parallel Giant Slalom format:
"Today I feel like being fooled ... we (athletes) taken for pawns of a show and not actor of a sport! Since when in sport luck is more important than performance? And how dangerous is the format? But above all @fisalpine when will the word of the athletes be taken into account?".
The comments section of his post received a flood of traffic. Among those who agree is FIS athlete representative Daniel Yule, who suggests the athlete’s the possibility to launch a boycott.
Other athletes who entered the conversation include the day’s winner, Loic Meillard and his teammate Justin Murisier, Stefan Hadalin, Matteo Marsaglia, Ted Ligety and his coach, Forest Carey, and Luca de Aliprandini. The Italian was another man who took to Instagram to express his concerns. In his post, he asked that FIS must take a harder look at the true risk of placing artificial jumps in a parallel GS track.
"Penso che @fisalpine dovrebbe riflettere, se veramente vale la pena inserire salti artificiali in un tracciato parallelo. Sono stato molto critico nelle interviste post-gara, ma quando si parla di sicurezza, non possiamo scherzare. Noi siamo qui per sciare, non per fare esibizioni di show sui salti, per quello ci sono già altre discipline. Per favore F.I.S. pensaci".