Odermatt strikes the win in Alta Badia

Marco Odermatt took his third win in four races with a commanding win in the second of two Giant Slalom races in Alta Badia. Luca di Aliprandini took his first podium with second and Alex Schmid made the German Olympic qualification in taking third. The top five were rounded out by Henrik Kristoffersen with Manuel Feller in fifth.

A narrow lead over di Aliprandini after run one was transferred into a massive win by just over a second after the second run. Odermatt was just in a class of his own on the second run.

“I don’t have a time on my goggle to see how much you have to push,” Odermatt said. “I knew I had a little advantagefrom the first run but I didn’t know how fast Luca was. I just heard that he’s in front. So I knew I had to push again.”

Di Aliprandini said after the second run that he had dreamed as a youngster that he would start at Alta Badia and would start bib number 1. This was him living out the dream and he turned the dream into reality in taking his first World Cup podium.

“I dedicate this podium to myself, my coaches and to my girlfriend, who had a tough summer,” said Aliprandini, who lives with Swiss skier Michelle Gisin, the Olympic champion in combined. “This will surely give her some energy.

“Last season, the turning point was here in Alta Badia when I went out after the third gate,” Aliprandini added. “The pressure of landing on the podium was weighing me down. I took a break then to reflect and I told myself that I didn’t need to demonstrate anything to anyone. I began enjoying everything more and not just racing for results and then the results came.”

For Alex Schmid this was a first World Cup Giant Slalom podium and gave him the added benefit of qualification for the Beijing Olympics next February.

Odermatt is fast becoming the racer of the season. This was win number six this calendar year, only Pirmin Zurbriggen (9 in 1987, 6 in 1986) and Peter Müller (6 in 1986) had done this before for Switzerland. With Pinturault having another off day, Odermatt has skied himself into being the outstanding favourite for the GS title come the Olympics.

This was his last race before Christmas as he will not do the Madonna Slalom on Wednesday.

In taking fourth, Kristoffersen has shown he is fast coming back to form.

No Charlie Raposo as he took the opportunity top go and race in the Europa Cup races in Glungezer.

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