Odermatt takes the first win of the season

Day two of the season and it was Swiss sensation, Marco Odermatt that stood on top of the podium at the end of the second run. Odermatt edged out Roland Leitinger who had lead after the first run while Zan Kranjec filled the other place on the podium. Gino Caviezel and Alexis Pinturault filled the remaining places in the top five. As with the women's race the day before, Sölden produced perfect conditions for the fans and the watching world on the television.

The first run produced excitement and close racing as Roland Leitinger took the race by the scruff of the neck to lead after Mathieu Faivre looked to have taken the race lead, Faivre lead a group of four that were separated by 0.16. This was the watching fans had come to see.

Run two saw Italian Simon Mauerberger, the highest number to make the second run at 42, put down a great time to take the lead from his teammate Riccardo Tonetti. Mauerberger's time, the third fastest of the run would see him move up to 20th overall.

Erik Read wa the next to make a statement as he grabbed the lead before Rasmus Windingstad showed the strength in depth of the Attacking Vikings as he posted the second fastest time on the second run to move into the lead. He would move up to 10th Overall from 22nd after the first run.

the Norwegian flag kept on flying as last years winner, Lucas Braathen, the only racer born this century to make the second run, then took the lead. Braathen stayed in the lead until rising American star, River Radamus, a three time Junior World Champion, stormed down to take the lead. Things were hotting up nicely! With Ted Ligety having retired and Tommy Ford still injured, Radamus has stepped up to give the US Team a real purpose.

'Veteran teammate Tommy Ford, who had a season-ending crash last year at Adelboden, Switzerland, sustaining knee and hand injuries and a concussion, posted a message of encouragement to his teammates on Instagram early Sunday morning. In the post, he said, “I miss my team and the cold mornings. Go team go! My knee is coming back. It has felt slow, but it hasn't even been a year.” Radamus replied to the message, saying “miss ya tommy❤️ i’ll try to send one for ya today.” And “send” he did!' Reported the US Ski team.

Radamus would end up in sixth.

With all the talk over ski length coming into the race, Alexis Pinturault was still the outstanding favourite for the race. Down in sixth after the first run, the strength in depth in the Men's GS and the high level of talent on show meant that there is a fine line between being right on the nail and just over it. At times, Pinturault looked to be slightly over cooking things and while he took the mead by 0.06 over the American, you had a feeling that it would not be his day. Yes there was a clenched fist but no huge showing of joy in taking the lead.

From there on in there was a procession in and out of the race leaders enclosure.

First Gino Caviezel took the lead, then Zan Kranjec and then Marco Odermatt. This left Mathieu Faivre and Roland Leitinger in the start ready to challenge.

Faivre over cooked things and dropped down off the leaders board with the second slowest second run. He would eventually finish 11th.

Could Leitinger make the step up and be the first Austrian to win a Giant Slalom since Marcel Hirscher in January 2019 in Adelboden? Marco Schwarz and Manuel Feller were in the finish but Stephan Brennsteiner and Matthias Mayer had crashed out and the Austrian fans wanted a great result at home.

Odermatt had nailed the steep and Leitinger was not far off his time, just 0.03 seconds slower through the same section down the steep. The Austrian had lost a lot of time across the flat at the top and trying to catch this up was beyond him. Did nerves play a part, was the pressure of racing at home and leading the race too much? From a lead of 0.21 top a deficit of 0.07, it was first blood to Switzerland and Austria had to accept second best with Slovenia taking third with Zan Kranjec.

Just one second separated the top 12. If all the races this winter are as exciting, the men's GS is looking very healthy.

Britain's Charlie Raposo finished in 41st after the first run and failed to make the second run. Read what he had to say after the race by clicking here.

Full results

Pictures - all credit to Zoom Agence

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