Pinturault wins from position of strength in Adelboden

After winning for the second year in succession and having won his second Giant Slalom in a row this season, Alexis Pinturault explained that he had done the hard work on the first run. Pinturault won the first of the two races down the famous Chuenisbärgli slope in Adelboden with the fastest time on both runs. Filip Zubcic overhauled Marco Odermatt to take second with Odermatt in third overall. The top five was rounded out by Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Justin Murisier. Britain's Charlie Raposo crashed out on the first run.

This was perfect conditions for racing. The local organisers had done a great job in getting the piste hard and fast. After races having been blighted by soft snow and fog recently, this was picture postcard time. Sadly the huge crowd that normally meets the racers as they come over the rise into the finish were not there, though clever usage of the fans watching from home on big video walls created some atmosphere for racers in the finish.

Pinturault was the first racer out the gate on the first run and the last racer out the gate on the second courtesy of having set the fastest time on the first run. It was his first run that he felt had set him in the right position for the race win. After the first run he lead by almost a second from Odermatt with Zubcic a hundredths behind.

Zubcic had put into action his customary second run change that had seen him take the race win in Santa Caterina in December and despite Odermatt fighting to hold onto his lead, the Croatian ended with a lead of 0.07 in the finish after Odermatt had crossed the line. It had been nip and tuck all the way.

Zubcic had posted the third fastest time on the run. Second fastest was set by Austrian Roland Leitinger who had benefitted from an early start after being in 28th after the first run. The Austrian, winner of the silver medal at the St Moritz Championships in 2017 before being injured, pulled himself up to 11th with his great run.

The bumps, rollers and 60 degree drop into the finish make Adelboden one of the most compelling races to watch but also one of the most demanding to race. After races that had had soft snow, to have an excellent track to race on was a joy to behold an d something that allowed the likes of Pinturault to really show his metal.

While he only took a further seven hundredths out of Zubcic on the second run, Pinturault was in a class of his own in the race as a whole. This was win number 32 in his career, third this season, and lifts him to within 10 points of Odermatt in the GS standings.

With the Overall Globe also hotting up, Pinturault may not have taken quite as many points out of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde as he would have hoped after the Norwegian pulled off a number of mercurial recoveries on the first run and then powered his way to fifth overall. The lead in the race for the Overall Globe is now 60 points in Pinturault's favour.

This was a race that ultimately did not provide a result for Charlie Raposo but there were so many positives to take. This was Raposo showing much more positivity and challenge. "There was a mistake at the top which resulted in the split being a little slower than I would have liked," he explained to Racer Ready.

"Then there were some solid turns that I know I can make in a race and that was good," Raposo continued.

"A stupid tactical mistake over a piece of terrain caught me out today. There were a lot of traps that caught a lot out today but the speed was so high. I was definitely happier to see some better skiing," Raposo ended before getting ready for the next race on Saturday.

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