In stark contrast to Friday’s postcard weather, Saturday’s giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, was marred by poor visibility, an icy surface, and rough course conditions with racers holding nothing back as they battled it out down the legendary Podkoren 3 slope.

After the (wet) snow had settled at the conclusion of a shortened, nail-biting second run, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher managed to snap Frenchman Alexis Pinturault’s GS win streak and guarantee his fourth career GS crystal globe with one race to spare.

Pinturault looked to be on his way to a fifth consecutive GS victory after crossing the line with a lead of over one second with only Hirscher left at the start. The Austrian appeared to be letting yet another GS slip through his fingers during the second run as he lost time on the upper sections of the course. However, managing to find an extra gear on the bottom, he built upon his advantage and crossed the line 0.53 seconds up for the win.

“First run was maybe the most difficult run I have ever skied in eight years of World Cup giant slalom,” Hirscher said. “It was so bumpy and rough. Second run with the shorter distance was quite difficult because conditions changed a little bit. The crowd was amazing so I exactly knew that Henrik and Alexis had done it really great so I knew I had to give my 100 percent personal best. I tried as hard as possible for me and took the risk of winning or losing for me and I won.”

It was a bittersweet day for Pinturault, who saw the door to the GS globe abruptly shut, as he was left more than 100 points adrift of Hirscher in the standings with only the St. Moritz Finals left to contest. The Frenchman still has a lot to be proud of, however, as four GS wins in a row is nothing to scoff at, especially given his early season struggles.

“First run was really tough because it was super hard and icy,” Pinturault explained. “I think it was on the limit in the first run more than on the second run. Obviously, it was a good fight. I tried to make my best, but Marcel was stronger than me today. I didn’t lose the globe today, I lose the globe from the beginning of the winter, so this way I am not disappointed.”

For Norwegian Kristoffersen, the dual with Hirscher in the overall standings seems to have been decided as well, with Hirscher pulling 333 points clear of the technical specialist with three tech races remaining on the schedule. Unless Kristoffersen decides to test his speed legs next week in Kvitfjell, Hirscher will hoist his fifth overall World Cup title in a row in St. Moritz.

“First run was one of the bumpiest GS I’ve ever done on the World Cup,” said Kristoffersen. “I tried to push it in the second run, Marcel was so fast today. Overall, I have to be pretty happy with the day. Marcel and Alexis are the two best GS racers in the world this year for sure without a doubt and I think I’m not too far off saying I’m the third, but I still have a bit of a way to go before I’m at their level.”

For the Americans, Vermonter Ryan Cochran-Siegle managed to land in 20th place after the first run – his first World Cup GS second run appearance – but was unable to finish his second run clean and wound up in 30th place, 11.90 seconds back and outside of the scoring margin. It has been a frustrating year for the American men in GS. With Ted Ligety sidelined with injury, the team struggled to get much going in the later half of the season and undoubtedly looks forward to finishing the season strong at the Continental Cup level.

“My hand hit a hole and I lost my pole and then I just kind of scrambled after that, went in too straight on another gate and then booted out,” explained Cochran-Siegle. “First run was just hectic. I was just trying to be as clean as possible but the snow conditions were pretty tough and I actually managed to ski it pretty well considering, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Another noteworthy performance on the day was that of young Swiss racer Loic Meillard, who managed to crack the top 10 in ninth, collecting just his second career World Cup scoring result after a 27th-place finish last week in Hinterstoder.

Sunday’s slalom action from Kranjska Gora is set to get underway at 9:30 a.m. CET.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

  1. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
  3. Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  4. Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  5. Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  7. Feller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  8. Meillard, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  9. Luitz, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  10. Murisier, Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker
  • Men’s World Cup giant slalom Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 5, 2016. … It is the fourth men’s GS in nine days and the tenth of 11 scheduled, leaving just World Cup finals in St. Moritz March 19. … It is the 37th of 45 scheduled races with one cancellation.
  • It is the 38th career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. … His seventh of the season. … It is his fourth GS win of the season and eighth GS podium. … It is his first win at Kranjska Gora since 2010. … The winning margin is 0.53 of a second. … Top two within the same second. … top five within two seconds… top 13 within three seconds.
  • It is the 35th career World Cup podium for Alexis Pinturault and 19th in GS. … It is his seventh World Cup podium of the season, the rest all wins. … It is his 10th World Cup podium at Kranjska Gora.
  • It is the 22nd career World Cup podium for Henrik Kristoffersen. … The 11th this season. … It is his fourth podium at Kranjska Gora.
  • It is the sixth career top 30 result for Ryan Cochran-Siegle. … His first of the season, but he will not score points for the effort.
  • Hirscher controls the World Cup overall standings 1525-1192 over Henrik Kristoffersen. … Pinturault is third with 1040pts.
  • Hirscher leads the GS standings 721-610 over Pinturault and with one race remaining cannot be beaten for the discipline crown. … It is his fourth GS title having also won in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 4942-4744 over France. … Norway is third with 4090pts. … The U.S. is seventh at 1745 and Canada 10th with 524pts.

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  2  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:13.92  58.66  2:12.58  0.00
 2  6  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:14.33  58.78  2:13.11  +0.53  3.92
 3  4  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  1:15.01  59.16  2:14.17  +1.59  11.75
 4  1  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix 1984 GER  1:14.57  59.81  2:14.38  +1.80  13.31
 5  3  191750 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  1:14.82  59.67  2:14.49  +1.91  14.12
 6  12  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp 1983 AUT  1:15.41  59.20  2:14.61  +2.03  15.01
 7  13  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT  1:15.70  59.00  2:14.70  +2.12  15.67
 8  34  512182 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI  1:15.90  59.04  2:14.94  +2.36  17.44
 9  9  202437 LUITZ Stefan 1992 GER  1:15.40  59.57  2:14.97  +2.39  17.67
 10  11  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI  1:15.26  59.83  2:15.09  +2.51  18.55
 11  5  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:15.25  59.97  2:15.22  +2.64  19.51
 12  15  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  1:15.51  59.78  2:15.29  +2.71  20.03
 13  7  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA  1:16.34  59.16  2:15.50  +2.92  21.58
 14  19  180534 SANDELL Marcus 1987 FIN  1:15.91  59.74  2:15.65  +3.07  22.69
 15  8  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  1:15.66  1:00.01  2:15.67  +3.09  22.84
 16  27  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  1:15.86  1:00.05  2:15.91  +3.33  24.61
 17  14  292967 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA  1:16.71  59.35  2:16.06  +3.48  25.72
 18  22  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano 1979 ITA  1:16.76  59.43  2:16.19  +3.61  26.68
 19  18  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  1:16.92  59.62  2:16.54  +3.96  29.27
 20  10  294890 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA  1:17.01  1:00.32  2:17.33  +4.75  35.11
 21  46  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  1:17.27  1:00.14  2:17.41  +4.83  35.70
 22  20  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  1:17.37  1:00.10  2:17.47  +4.89  36.15
 22  16  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:16.42  1:01.05  2:17.47  +4.89  36.15
 24  25  380335 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO  1:17.07  1:00.45  2:17.52  +4.94  36.52
 25  45  180705 PIRINEN Eemeli 1993 FIN  1:17.38  1:00.30  2:17.68  +5.10  37.70
 26  44  54027 BRENNSTEINER Stefan 1991 AUT  1:17.28  1:00.43  2:17.71  +5.13  37.92
 27  36  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  1:17.39  1:00.34  2:17.73  +5.15  38.07
 28  52  53889 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT  1:17.49  1:00.45  2:17.94  +5.36  39.62
 29  39  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER  1:17.55  1:00.67  2:18.22  +5.64  41.69
 30  35  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA  1:16.86  1:07.62  2:24.48  +11.90  87.96
Disqualified 1st run
 24  54031 LEITINGER Roland 1991 AUT
Did not start 1st run
 51  103997 MEGARRY Morgan 1993 CAN
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 75  800013 TOLA Erjon 1986 ALB
 73  380377 KOLEGA Samuel 1999 CRO
 72  561291 GROSELJ Zan 1993 SLO
 71  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG
 67  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO
 64  511817 STRICKER Martin 1991 SUI
 56  54320 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT
 47  422112 PATRICKSSON Axel William 1992 NOR
 42  202265 STAUBITZER Benedikt 1990 GER
 37  934568 RUBIE Brennan 1991 USA
 32  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT
 23  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI
 21  534959 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA
 17  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE
Did not finish 1st run
 76  710362 LOKMIC Emir 1997 BIH
 74  430617 CHRAPEK Adam 1993 POL
 70  151024 KOTZMANN Adam 1993 CZE
 69  561296 SPIK Jakob 1994 SLO
 68  561254 ZERAK Misel 1992 SLO
 66  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO
 65  410365 BARWOOD Adam 1992 NZL
 63  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK
 62  6291028 SORIO Daniele 1994 ITA
 61  6290440 ZINGERLE Alex 1992 ITA
 60  193986 PLACE Francois 1989 FRA
 59  410364 FEASEY Willis 1992 NZL
 58  290095 BALLERIN Andrea 1989 ITA
 57  534508 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA
 55  501898 ROENNGREN Mattias 1993 SWE
 54  6530453 DUPRATT Samuel 1993 USA
 53  511718 PLEISCH Manuel 1990 SUI
 50  103676 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN
 49  103865 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN
 48  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR
 43  6530115 CHRISTIANSON Kieffer 1992 USA
 41  481103 ANDRIENKO Aleksander 1990 RUS
 40  180666 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN
 38  103762 WERRY Tyler 1991 CAN
 33  531799 FORD Tommy 1989 USA
 31  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR
 30  191423 RICHARD Cyprien 1979 FRA
 29  192506 MISSILLIER Steve 1984 FRA
 28  51159 NOESIG Christoph 1985 AUT
 26  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA

 

Article Tags: Alpine, Top Rotator, Top Story

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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
- A Lake Tahoe native and University of Vermont graduate, Higgins was a member of the Catamounts' 2012 NCAA title winning squad and earned first team All-American honors in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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