Kranjec holds nerve to win in Adelboden

Zan Kranjec took his second World Cup Giant Slalom win in a hugely exciting race in Adelboden. Kranjec was in sixth after the first run but just a quarter of a second off the lead held by Luca de Aliprandini. With the first run a tight affaire, just 1.43 seconds separated the top thirty, the second run turned things on their head. Filip Zubcic took his first podium place with second while Henrik Kristoffersen and Victor Muffet Jeandet shared third place. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde produced a stunning second run to power his way to career second best result in Giant Slalom taking fifth place, he placed fourth in the Alta Badia race in December.

The first run had seen Luca de Aliprandini take the lead from Giovanni Borsotti with Loic Meillard in third. The second run turned the tables on its head as Kilde took the lead from Roland Leitinger. Leitinger posted the fastest time after having been in 27th from the first run. Since winning the silver in the Giant Slalom at the 2017 World Championships, Leitinger's career has seen both great results and injury status. To take a top ten result again brings him a lot of encouragement especially as the Austrians are not blessed currently with strength in depth on the Giant Slalom World Cup.

Leitinger had stayed in the lead from his run until Kilde came down from 16th but then Victor Muffet meander deposed the Norwegian immediately. Into the top ten and Kristoffersen could only match the French racer to share the lead.

From seventh Zubcic took the lead and Kranjec then went faster. With five still to go, you expected more movement to come in the leadership but the pressure told as Faivre and Read both dropped down the leaderboard to 8th and 24th, then Meillard, third after the first run went off the boil and would finish in 17th before Borsotti went into 14th. Worse was to happen for firs run leader de Aliprandini as he was looking to take a maiden race win before crashing out. With only 1.43 between all thirty on the second run, there was no respite across the rollers for any of the racers.

Britain's Charlie Raposo looked to be heading into a qualification spot for the second run before he hooked a hand in the gate three gates from home. A top thirty split at the second split was the pick of his splits but Raposo is edging closer and closer to making his first second run. After the race he posted that he felt he had been in the ring with Anthony Joshua, adding "everything hurts!"

After pulling out of the race in Alta Badia before Christmas, Raposo will spend the next few weeks focussing on the Europa Cup tour so that when the Giant Slalom tour reconvenes in Garmisch, he is starting higher up the start list and thus improving his chances of making the second run.

After the race Kranjec explained: "I didn't feel that good in the first run. But I knew everything was possible. In the second run I felt better. I think I am in the shape of my life. I've been very good for the past three years. I think I made a leap in the material area and have a good setup for all conditions."

While Zubcic explained: "Finally the first podium. It was always my dream to be on the podium in the World Cup. I had a certain premonition yesterday, I had a good feeling in the last races. It is a great thing that a Slovenian and a Croatian are at the forefront. Ivica is a consultant, it is good that we have him with us during the season."

Kranjec now takes over the lead in the Giant Slalom rankings while Kristoffersen takes back the lead in the Overall from Kilde.

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