Odermatt takes control of the GS Globe

Marco Odermatt has set the standard required for this season in becoming the first racer to win the opening two Giant Slalom races since Ted Ligety achieved this feet in 2013. Odermatt did not just win, he gave the rest of the field a lesson in how two master the conditions, the hill and the pressure of racing. Alexis Pinturault tried his hardest to get back into the mix but had to settle for second with Manuel Feller in third. The top five was rounded out by Luca di Aliprandini and Henrik Kristoffersen.

With winter weather attacking Val d'Isere in the days leading up to the races, 50cm of snow was shovelled off the race slope over night for the race to happen. It still made it a brutal race and conditions down the Face de Bellevarde were brutal. Charlie Raposo explained after his run that "it was probably the bumpiest track" he had skied on the World Cup.

The Face is a tough hill on a good day but this was on another level!

Odermatt battered the rest of the field. Some racers made great sections, others made mistakes and lost their opportunity. Despite being last down the track on the second run, Odermatt still posted competitive times well inside the fastest ten on the run. Pinturault had gone immediately before him and was trying to haul in the 0.32 deficit that he had to the young Swiss racer but he was just not able to put down one of the all time great runs to put the pressure on.

While Pinturault extended his lead over the rest off the field, Filip Zubcic had crashed out on the second run and it was Manuel Feller who had taken over the mantel of best of the rest, edging di Aliprandini by just 0.07 seconds.

The extent of the pressure that Odermatt is now putting on the rest of the field in both Giant Slalom and Super G now has him as a serious contender already for the Overall. Three wins already this season has stated his case.

Thomas Tumler posted the fastest second run time to move up from 29 to 14, making great use of the early start on the second run. River Radamus was another to move up with the third fastest and Patrick Fuerstein, second fastest also moved up the rankings with second fastest.

This was brutal racing and if Odermatt continues in this fashion, the rest of the field will need to raise their game.

“We all knew that it would be very tough, that it would be a fight. I tried to have a clever run: a little bit aggressive and only pushing where possible,” Odermatt said after his first run.

Now for the Slalom....

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