On a picturesque Friday in the Slovenian Alps, the race for the World Cup giant slalom crystal globe got really, really interesting.

For the fourth GS in a row, Frenchman Alexis Pinturalut managed to hold off a surging Marcel Hircher, taking the win in the first of two GS races in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, with a total time of 1:52.18 seconds. A pair of Austrians followed Pinturault, with Philipp Schoerghofer in second, 0.47 seconds back, and Hirscher claiming third, 0.69 seconds off of the pace.

On a day that saw the start lowered due to upwards of 30 centimeters of fresh snowfall which prevented the organizers from being able to prepare the upper portion of the course in a satisfactory way, Pinturault set the pace in the first run. The Frenchman was sitting a comfortable 0.35 seconds clear of Schoerghofer in second and 0.82 seconds ahead of Hirscher, who sat in seventh. Knowing that the fate of the GS crystal globe was likely in the balance, Hirscher skied all out in the second run, setting the fastest run time in the process and jumping up to third, taking yet another podium. His compatriot Schoerghofer managed to slide in front of him, however, just as Pinturault entered the starting gate.

Holding nothing back, Pinturault skied the only way he knows how and handily took his 15th career World Cup victory. Letting out a yell after crossing the finish with yet another green light, the Frenchman now has less than 100 points to make up on Hirscher in the GS standings.

“I feel great, for sure,” Pinturault said in the finish. “You know, after a victory, it is always something special. It is a special moment. It was a great, tough race today. What about tomorrow? We’ll see, because it’s going to be not the same as today. Expecting rain, so that’s going to be really hard, mentally.”

“My thinking is that when I finish on top of the podium, it’s always unbelievable,” he added. “It’s always a special moment. At least I am skiing and not flying. Maybe that’s what you see, but it’s not the case, you know? I will try and push really hard and that was quite a tough race today.”

Friday marked the first podium appearance since December of 2011 for Schoerghofer, who was clearly excited to make it back to the top of the rankings once again after several years of lackluster results.

“The feeling is amazing for me,” Schoerghofer said. “It’s been such a long time, it was four years ago since I last stood on the podium so it’s very, very good for me. I skied very well, but the big mistake in the second run was huge. But after that I risked it all and at the finish line, the green light is there and I was very surprised and very happy about my second place.”

“To do this again, it was a tough time for me,” he added of his struggles in recent years. “The last four years was not easy with the skis and with the regulations from the FIS. I had big problems with that, but now, I skied good with them, so it’s good to be back on the podium.”

Although Hirscher’s lead in the GS standings is shrinking, he did manage to put a few more points between himself and his closest rival in the overall standings, Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen, who finished just behind Hirscher in fourth. When Hirscher was asked if he ever felt he could have taken the win after his second run, he did not hesitate with his answer.

“Never. No,” Hirscher asserted. “I mean, everything in possible, but Philipp, Felix (Neureuther), and Alexis, if they are not skiing out or making huge mistakes, there’s no opportunity to pick up eight tenths of a second on this short and pretty easy race hill here. After the first run, we were searching and some of the coaches and some of the experts were in-between bad skiing and a bad start number. As you can see with the second run, my skiing is not too bad at the moment. It is another 60 points for the overall, and another 60 points for the GS ranking.”

“If Alexis is skiing as he showed us in the last couple of races, he will win the GS globe,” he added. “That is for sure because at the moment, he is amazing.”

For the Americans, it was a step in the right direction as David Chodounsky and Tommy Ford both managed to crack the top-30, finishing 26th and 27th, respectively.

“First run, obviously I was happy,” explained Chodounsky. “I started in the back (bib 58) and felt like I skied well and aggressive and got into the second run. And then, I completely over-skied the second run. It skied so much easier than I thought it would. I’m learning in GS still. I’m happy with today, got points, and I’m going to learn from that and keep my GS going.”

Another noteworthy performance was that of Frenchman Cyprien Richard, who started the day wearing bib 40 and finished an impressive ninth. No doubt a step in the right direction for the once first-seed regular.

Another GS is scheduled for Saturday and reports indicate that the upper portion of the slope will be in good enough shape for a race from the top with action getting underway at 9:30 a.m. CET.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

1. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
2. Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4. Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5. Faivre, Head/Head/Head
6. Feller, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7. Haugen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8. Muffat-Jeandet, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9. Richard, Head/Head/Head
10. Murisier, Voelkl/Dalbello/Marker
10. Luitz, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

  • Men’s World Cup giant slalom, Kranjska Gora, Solvenia, March 4, 2016. … This is a make-up race for the GS canceled at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Jan. 31 by rain and bad weather. … It is the 36th of 45 races on the men’s schedule and the ninth of 11 scheduled GSs. … It is the 12th rescheduled or canceled race this season. … It is the first event of the 55th Pokal Vitranc Cup and the 84th World Cup race hosted at Kranjska Gora. … Alexis Pinturault is the defending GS winner. … Americans have won nine GSs at Kranjska Gora with Ted Ligety accounting for six of those victories.
  • It is the 15th career World Cup win for Alexis Pinturault. … His sixth this season, fourth this season in GS. … It is his second career win at Kranjska Gora. … The winning margin is 0.47. .. Podium skiers are within the same second. … Top eight within two seconds.
  • It is the fifth career World Cup podium for Philipp Schoerghofer, all in GS. … His first podium of the season.
  • It is the 88th career World Cup podium for Marcel Hirscher, his 16th of the season and his ninth at Kranjska Gora in 13 races completed.
  • It is the fourth time in his career and third time this season David Chodounsky has scored in a World Cup GS. It is the 18th World Cup scoring finish for Tommy Ford, the fourth time this season.
  • Marcel Hirscher leads the World Cup overall standings 1425-1132 over Henrik Kristoffersen (fourth in race). … Pinturault climbs to third overall with 960pts.
  • With two races remaining, Hirscher leads the GS standings 621-530 over Pinturault. Kristoffersen is third with 401pts and cannot win the GS title.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 4758-4575 over France. … Norway is third with 4008pts. … The U.S. is seventh at 1745 and Canada 10th at 524pts.

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  4  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  54.52  57.66  1:52.18  0.00
 2  10  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp 1983 AUT  54.86  57.79  1:52.65  +0.47  4.11
 3  1  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  55.34  57.53  1:52.87  +0.69  6.03
 4  3  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  55.32  57.98  1:53.30  +1.12  9.78
 5  6  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA  55.34  58.38  1:53.72  +1.54  13.45
 6  25  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT  55.95  57.81  1:53.76  +1.58  13.80
 7  8  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  55.40  58.37  1:53.77  +1.59  13.89
 8  5  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  55.28  58.68  1:53.96  +1.78  15.55
 9  40  191423 RICHARD Cyprien 1979 FRA  56.32  57.94  1:54.26  +2.08  18.17
 10  19  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI  56.09  58.25  1:54.34  +2.16  18.87
 10  13  202437 LUITZ Stefan 1992 GER  55.77  58.57  1:54.34  +2.16  18.87
 12  16  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  56.14  58.23  1:54.37  +2.19  19.13
 13  12  292967 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA  55.83  58.55  1:54.38  +2.20  19.22
 14  26  54031 LEITINGER Roland 1991 AUT  56.31  58.12  1:54.43  +2.25  19.66
 15  2  191750 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  55.21  59.27  1:54.48  +2.30  20.09
 16  27  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  56.00  58.55  1:54.55  +2.37  20.70
 16  20  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  56.18  58.37  1:54.55  +2.37  20.70
 18  22  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  56.11  58.60  1:54.71  +2.53  22.10
 19  29  192506 MISSILLIER Steve 1984 FRA  56.27  58.63  1:54.90  +2.72  23.76
 20  28  51159 NOESIG Christoph 1985 AUT  56.42  58.50  1:54.92  +2.74  23.94
 21  36  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  55.98  59.02  1:55.00  +2.82  24.64
 22  9  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  56.02  59.00  1:55.02  +2.84  24.81
 23  46  180705 PIRINEN Eemeli 1993 FIN  56.52  58.52  1:55.04  +2.86  24.98
 24  31  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  56.51  58.66  1:55.17  +2.99  26.12
 25  30  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  56.35  58.99  1:55.34  +3.16  27.61
 26  58  534508 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA  56.38  59.31  1:55.69  +3.51  30.66
 27  33  531799 FORD Tommy 1989 USA  56.53  59.60  1:56.13  +3.95  34.51
Disqualified 1st run
 76  710353 SLJIVIC Marko 1996 BIH
 68  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO
 55  6530453 DUPRATT Samuel 1993 USA
Did not start 1st run
 53  934502 ANKENY Michael 1991 USA
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 77  800013 TOLA Erjon 1986 ALB
 75  380374 VUKELIC William 1998 CRO
 74  430617 CHRAPEK Adam 1993 POL
 73  561291 GROSELJ Zan 1993 SLO
 72  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG
 71  151024 KOTZMANN Adam 1993 CZE
 70  561296 SPIK Jakob 1994 SLO
 69  561254 ZERAK Misel 1992 SLO
 66  410365 BARWOOD Adam 1992 NZL
 65  511817 STRICKER Martin 1991 SUI
 63  6291028 SORIO Daniele 1994 ITA
 62  6290440 ZINGERLE Alex 1992 ITA
 61  193986 PLACE Francois 1989 FRA
 60  410364 FEASEY Willis 1992 NZL
 59  290095 BALLERIN Andrea 1989 ITA
 57  54320 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT
 56  501898 ROENNGREN Mattias 1993 SWE
 54  511718 PLEISCH Manuel 1990 SUI
 52  53889 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT
 51  103997 MEGARRY Morgan 1993 CAN
 49  103865 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN
 48  422073 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR
 47  422112 PATRICKSSON Axel William 1992 NOR
 45  54027 BRENNSTEINER Stefan 1991 AUT
 44  6530115 CHRISTIANSON Kieffer 1992 USA
 43  202265 STAUBITZER Benedikt 1990 GER
 42  481103 ANDRIENKO Aleksander 1990 RUS
 41  180666 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN
 39  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER
 38  103762 WERRY Tyler 1991 CAN
 37  934568 RUBIE Brennan 1991 USA
 35  6530319 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA
 34  512182 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI
 32  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT
 17  534959 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA
 15  180534 SANDELL Marcus 1987 FIN
 14  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE
 11  294890 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA
Did not finish 2nd run
 24  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA
 18  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI
 7  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix 1984 GER
Did not finish 1st run
 67  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO
 64  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK
 50  103676 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN
 23  380335 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO
 21  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano 1979 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 status in 2013. Prior to coming to Ski Racing Media, he coached U14s for the Squaw Valley Ski Team.
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