Pinturault at the double in Adelboden

From the moment that Alexis Pinturault kicked out the gate to hunt down the lead Filip Zubcic held in the finish, you were witnessing one of the great all time runs. Pinturault was second after the first run and knew he had to put in a tremendous run to better the time of first run leader Loic Meillard whop would follow him down on his Rossignol skis. Meillard would take third place behind Zubcic in a thrilling race as Marco Odermatt and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde rounded out the top five.

With a number of racers not taking part in the second of two World Cup Giant Slalom's in Adelboden due to injury, Tommy Ford joined the list of injuries with a huge crash on the first run that saw the race held up for twenty minutes. With this being the last GS before the World Championships, qualification for the Worlds was on the line for many racers, this may have pushed some over the edge in terms of what they were capable of.

For Pinturault though the incentive was to hunt down the lead that Marco Odermatt held coming into the two Giant Slalom races in Adelboden. After winning in Alta Badia, Pinturault had narrowed the deficit to Odermatt down to fifty points. With three wins on the spin after Adelboden Pinturault now has the red bib, something he admits that he will hold on to until the end of the season now, by 40 points having outscored Odermatt 300 to 160 in the last three races.

The first run had belonged to Loic Meillard. Meillard had powered his Rossignol skis in the same way that Pinturault had used his skis on the first run in Friday's race. While Pinturault had gone on to win the race, Meillard made a mistake on the final pitch coming in to the finish that gave Pinturault the win and Meillard dropped to third behind Zubcic.

Filip Zubcic has an amazing ability to turn on the power for the second run and when he came down from fifth after run one to depose Luca de Aliprandini from the lead, by 0.80 seconds, this was a statement of intent to the remaining racers: Kilde, Odermatt, Pinturault and Meillard.

Kilde powered his way into second behind Zubcic at the time while Odermatt, on a damage limitation run dropped into second himself, pushing Kilde down a place. Kilde was hoping to score big so that he could add points to his combined total.

Then came the run from Pinturault.

This was a run that racers will study for a long time. There were no fireworks that Zubcic had ignited. This was smooth. There was no outside ski sliding into the turn. The turn was initiated and held. This was the result of countless runs getting the muscles to memorise exactly what was needed.

Over the rollers he came, in and out of the dark he powered on and by the finish Zubcic could just applaud.

Maybe the pressure got to Meillard, maybe the thrill of coming over the rise and down into the finish caused a mistake but he was heading for second when he made a mistake on the pitch and lost time just holding on to third place ahead of Odermatt by 0.02 for his sixth career World Cup podium.

It had been the first run that had set the win in motion in the first race, Pinturault explained and in the second race it was his second run that had been the basis of the win. It was a very special run.

For Rossignol sponsored racer, Charlie Raposo, this was a big step in the right direction. Her may not have quite made the qualification for the second run, but the signs are that he is moving closer. Afterward he posted "Getting closer. Made some strong turns today but needed a little more gas pedal in the last section to make that top 30."

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