After an admittedly lackluster start to his season, Frenchman Alexis Pinturault has undoubtedly found his form as of late, taking his third giant slalom in a row on Sunday in Hinterstoder, Austria, dominating the field with a total time of 2:43.88 seconds. Austrian Marcel Hirscher was a distant second, 1.14 seconds back, and Norwegian Henrik Kristofersen rounded out the podium in third, 1.26 seconds behind the blistering pace set by Pinturault.

Heavily overcast skies and slightly softer snow conditions compared to the last two days of racing was on tap on Sunday, and at first, it looked like Hirscher was finally going to give Pinturault a run for his money in the second run. Alas, once again, undaunted by the challenge laid down in front of him, the French star picked apart the second run set with ease and built upon his advantage at each interval until crossing the finish by a massive winning margin.

“It was a good run and a strong run,” Pinturault said. “Second run was quite tough on the top, it was really bumpy, the snow was not the same as two days ago but I tried to push really hard and it seems to be one of the most perfect races for me.”

“There [are] still three GS races so anything can happen, but it is also going to be difficult for us because Marcel competes in slalom and GS and I compete in slalom and GS,” he added about the chase for the giant slalom discipline globe. “It’s going to be tough like this weekend. Today, I think we were really tired, even when we stood on the podium we were tired.”

Although bested by Pinturault for the second GS in a row, Hirscher still holds a 131-point advantage over Pinturault in the discipline standings and was able to gain another 20 points on Kristoffersen in the overall standings. It’s been a rather peculiar chase for the large crystal globe this season for Hirscher, as not only have injuries taken out some of his closest rivals, but Hirscher himself has had to deal with surging young talents, wayward drones, pilfered equipment, foggy goggles, and all manner of shenanigans not typical of a World Cup season.

“It’s crazy, so many things are going forward in alpine ski racing and if you are not working each day on your performance, you will lose on your confidence,” Hirscher explained. “In this season, so many weird things have happened already. A camera drone nearly hit me, so that was as well a really shocking moment, stolen skis was next, foggy goggles in Schladming. … It is not easy, but I have no idea what to change and I am always going to church, praying each day, I don’t know!”

Although Kristoffersen hasn’t enjoyed the same success in GS this season as he has in slalom, the young Norwegian should never be counted out on any GS hill in the world and looks forward to the next challenge in Slovenia. Although he has been nearly unstoppable in slalom, he admits that Hirscher just might be too strong to overtake in the overall standings.

“Two hundred and eighty points behind Marcel is a lot,” said Kristoffersen. “I have only five races left, and Marcel is unbelievably strong, even in super G. I think there is no chance. … But I don’t focus on the overall, I just focus on the next race. I look forward to Kranjska Gora. There is no long flat there, the course is steeper and I think it suits my skiing better. I’m ready and I’ll try to win races there.”

Unfortunately for the Americans, it was another tough day at the office as Tim Jitloff was the only finisher inside the top 30 in 23rd place, 4.01 seconds off of Pinturault. The American men haven’t quite found their groove in GS this season, but two more chances remain next weekend in Slovenia.

“Today, I knew I wanted to come out and put together a solid day,” explained a disappointed Jitloff. “The first run was a step in the right direction for that and then the second run, I think from the difficulties of the last two weeks and the effort that has gone into trying to get things right, I just felt very tired. This is an extremely long and turny course, soft snow, and I just didn’t have the energy in that second run and unfortunately was quite slow. I have two more races in Kranjska Gora. I’m going to take a rest here for a few days and before I go there we are going to try a few new new things just to try and get the energy back into it and hopefully I can reel this back in before the end of the season.”

The men’s tour now heads to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for two GS races and a slalom March 4-6.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

  1. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
  2. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  4. Faivre, Head/Head/Head
  5. Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  7. Janka, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  8. Eisath, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
  9. Luitz, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  10. Tonetti, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
  • Men’s World Cup giant slalom, Hinterstoder, Austria, Feb. 28, 2016. … It is the 35th of 45 races on the men’s schedule and the eighth of 11 scheduled GSs. … It is the 16th World Cup race at Hinterstoder and the third of three this season.
  • It is the 14th career World Cup win for Alexis Pinurault. … And his third straight GS win. … It is his fifth win of the season. … The winning margin is 1.14 seconds. … The top three are within two seconds.
  • It is the 87th career World Cup podium for Marcel Hirscher. … His 15th of the season in 19 completed races.
  • It is the 23rd career World Cup podium for Henrik Kristoffersen. … His tenth of the season.
  • It is the fifth scoring finish of the season for Tim Jitloff.
  • Hirscher maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1365-1082 over Kristoffersen. … Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) holds third with 916pts.
  • Hirscher lead the GS standings 561-430 over Pinturault. … Kristoffersen is third with 351pts.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 4549-4341 over France. … Norway is third with 3915pts. … The U.S. is seventh at 1736 and Canada tenth at 524.

Official Results

Rank Bib Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  3 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:20.56  1:23.32  2:43.88  0.00
 2  7 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:21.12  1:23.90  2:45.02  +1.14  6.82
 3  4 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  1:21.11  1:24.03  2:45.14  +1.26  7.53
 4  14 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA  1:22.07  1:23.92  2:45.99  +2.11  12.62
 5  5 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  1:21.38  1:24.76  2:46.14  +2.26  13.51
 6  6 NEUREUTHER Felix 1984 GER  1:21.03  1:25.19  2:46.22  +2.34  13.99
 7  16 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:22.61  1:23.70  2:46.31  +2.43  14.53
 8  12 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA  1:22.48  1:23.89  2:46.37  +2.49  14.89
 9  8 LUITZ Stefan 1992 GER  1:21.33  1:25.25  2:46.58  +2.70  16.15
 10  25 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  1:22.78  1:23.87  2:46.65  +2.77  16.56
 11  13 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp 1983 AUT  1:22.38  1:24.43  2:46.81  +2.93  17.52
 12  9 HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  1:23.17  1:23.87  2:47.04  +3.16  18.90
 13  1 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:21.89  1:25.38  2:47.27  +3.39  20.27
 14  10 SANDELL Marcus 1987 FIN  1:22.50  1:24.78  2:47.28  +3.40  20.33
 15  24 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:23.25  1:24.12  2:47.37  +3.49  20.87
 16  32 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  1:23.94  1:23.46  2:47.40  +3.52  21.05
 17  19 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  1:22.97  1:24.46  2:47.43  +3.55  21.23
 18  23 ZUBCIC Filip 1993 CRO  1:23.25  1:24.20  2:47.45  +3.57  21.35
 19  26 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT  1:23.79  1:23.76  2:47.55  +3.67  21.95
 20  27 LEITINGER Roland 1991 AUT  1:23.12  1:24.62  2:47.74  +3.86  23.08
 21  15 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  1:22.45  1:25.30  2:47.75  +3.87  23.14
 22  22 BLARDONE Massimiliano 1979 ITA  1:22.99  1:24.86  2:47.85  +3.97  23.74
 23  11 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA  1:22.46  1:25.43  2:47.89  +4.01  23.98
 24  18 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI  1:22.96  1:25.01  2:47.97  +4.09  24.46
 25  37 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK  1:23.79  1:24.38  2:48.17  +4.29  25.65
 26  30 MISSILLIER Steve 1984 FRA  1:23.76  1:24.52  2:48.28  +4.40  26.31
 27  35 MEILLARD Loic 1996 SUI  1:23.66  1:24.90  2:48.56  +4.68  27.99
 28  29 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO  1:23.57  1:25.12  2:48.69  +4.81  28.76
 29  17 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:23.65  1:25.29  2:48.94  +5.06  30.26
Did not start 1st run
 45 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 75 CHRAPEK Adam 1993 POL
 73 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG
 71 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO
 67 JENAL Sandro 1992 SUI
 65 ENGEL Mark 1991 USA
 64 BALLERIN Andrea 1989 ITA
 59 DUPRATT Samuel 1993 USA
 54 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN
 53 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE
 52 NETELAND Bjoernar 1991 NOR
 51 PATRICKSSON Axel William 1992 NOR
 50 PIRINEN Eemeli 1993 FIN
 49 BRENNSTEINER Stefan 1991 AUT
 48 MAURBERGER Simon 1995 ITA
 47 CHRISTIANSON Kieffer 1992 USA
 46 STAUBITZER Benedikt 1990 GER
 44 ZURBRIGGEN Elia 1990 SUI
 43 ANDRIENKO Aleksander 1990 RUS
 42 RICHARD Cyprien 1979 FRA
 41 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN
 40 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER
 39 WERRY Tyler 1991 CAN
 38 RUBIE Brennan 1991 USA
 36 COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan 1992 USA
 33 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA
 31 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT
 20 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI
Did not finish 2nd run
 57 HIRSCHBUEHL Christian 1990 AUT
Did not finish 1st run
 74 ESTEVE Axel 1994 AND
 72 KOTZMANN Adam 1993 CZE
 70 BARWOOD Adam 1992 NZL
 69 SALA Tommaso 1995 ITA
 68 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK
 66 SARRAZIN Cyprien 1994 FRA
 63 FEASEY Willis 1992 NZL
 62 CHODOUNSKY David 1984 USA
 61 SCHWARZ Marco 1995 AUT
 60 ROENNGREN Mattias 1993 SWE
 58 PLEISCH Manuel 1990 SUI
 56 MEGARRY Morgan 1993 CAN
 55 BROWN Phil 1991 CAN
 34 FORD Tommy 1989 USA
 28 NOESIG Christoph 1985 AUT
 21 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA
 2 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA
Article Tags: Alpine , Top Rotator , Top Story

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Sean Higgins
Senior Editor
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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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