Alexis Pinturault has had quite the weekend in Hinterstoder, Austria. After starting the weekend off with a solid 4th place finish in the super G, Pinturault won the Alpine Combined on Sunday, and won again on Monday in the giant slalom. The Frenchman has as a consistent season, with a few slip-ups outside of the top five and top 10 here and there. His successes over the weekend have been enough to draw him ahead in the race for the overall crystal globe, a title that has transferred back and forth between himself, Aleksander Kilde, and Henrik Kristoffersen, for a majority of the season.
Coming into the 2019/20 season, in the absence of the recently retired Marcel Hirscher, many media sources speculated that Pinturault and Kristoffersen would lead the charge this year given their consistent success in both the giant slalom and slalom races. Pinturault also shines in the alpine combined, a discipline title which he secured for the fourth time, on Sunday after his win in Hinterstoder. In an effort to keep up this weekend, Kristoffersen competed in his first super G, earning some points by finishing 22nd overall. In Monday’s giant slalom Kristoffersen finished third, enough to keep him in the mix in the overall standings and push him ahead in the giant slalom crystal globe standings, although the Norwegian says that doesn’t mean much right now.
“It doesn’t mean much now but it means a lot after the season is done,” said Kristoffersen. “I’ve led the slalom standings before, the GS standings I haven’t led before this year because Hirscher has always been there. I’m on the only pure technical skier in the top 10. Alexis is doing 450 points in super G and super combined, I think he’s more of an all-rounder rather than a tech skier at the moment, so it’s nice to have one tech guy in there in the top 10.”
Filip Zubcic also moved up in the giant slalom standings, given that he has podiumed three times in the giant slalom so far this season. In Yuzawa Naeba, Zubcic became the first Croatian man to win a giant slalom in the history of Croatian alpine skiing.
Aleksander Kilde finished the day in sixth, which kept him in the second position in the overall standings. His teammate, Leif Nestvold-Haugen hung onto ninth, tying with Mathieu Faivre, making the Norwegian men the most prominent nation in the top 10.
The Americans just barely missed the top 10 in Hinterstoder again, with Tommy Ford leading the pack in 12th for the guys in some more spring-like conditions that tend to not favor the American men. Hinterstoder’s giant slalom course is also the longest course the men have skied on the GS circuit thus far this season. Between the first and second run, there was a 10-second difference due to length and course set.
“The new standard is becoming the spring conditions right now,” said Ford “My first run I thought I skied well, really clean, good up top, and powerful. I let the fatigue get to me a little bit on the bottom section, my skis got caught and I thought my recovery was really good for where I was in the course but it didn’t help with the time. Going into the second run I was confident but I didn’t feel like I had as much hunger as I have been having, for whatever reason.”
The next scheduled stop on the men’s tour is in Kjvitfell, Norway, March 7th to 8th before heading back down to Central Europe to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia March 14th and 15th. As of Monday, the FIS has not come to a conclusion as to whether or not finals will happen in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The potential for the schedule to continue to change over the upcoming weeks is large, as weather and the coronavirus continue to affect Central Europe.
- 1. Alexis Pinturault (FRA): 2:41.96
- 2. Filip Zubcic (CRO): +0.45
- 3. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR): +0.72
- 4. Marco Odermatt (SUI): +0.90
- 5. Luca de Alprandini (ITA): +1.21
- 6. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR): +1.34
- 7. Loic Meillard (SUI): +1.60
- 8. Stefan Luitz (GER): +1.76
- 9. Mathieu Faivre (FRA): +1.69
- 9. Leif Nestvold-Haugen (NOR): +1.69
For full FIS results, click here.