Advantage Odermatt in race for the Globe

Marco Odermatt produced one of the most stunning runs of his relatively youthful World Cup career to win the Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora and with Alexis Pinturault finishing sun fourth, has opened up a 25 point advantage in the race for the Globe that will finish next week in Lenzerheide. Loic Meillard took second after having lead after the first run with Austrian Stefan Brennsteiner in third. Pinturault took fourth with Mathieu Faivre in fifth.

This race was billed as the crowning of Pinturault as the Giant Slalom World Cup winner and positioned in second after the first run and with Odermatt in fourth, the script looked to be going too plan. What Odermatt did on the second run to put himself in pole position to win his first Globe was simply incredible.

The 23 year old, who only three years ago won four Gold medals in the Junior World Championships and now has four World Cup race wins since 2019 (two of them this season), is on fire. Coming into the race in Kranjska Gora he trailed Pinturault by 25 points and had the French racer managed to just tay in second.after the second run, would still have lead going to the World Cup Finals, now he needs to beat Odermatt by two places to secure the Giant Slalom Globe.

Odermatt literally destroyed the field in the second run. He carved turns while others feathered their way at the top of the turn and then punched out of them at the bottom. Odermatt accelerated at each turn and was on point. This was Giant Slalom racing at its peak. This was how to overhaul a 0.61 deficit to his teammate, Meillard, on the second run and with Pinturault waiting at the start, pile the pressure on him.

The gap to second was 1.08 but it could have been greater as Odermatt was just in a different class. It was that good a second run.

Odermatt was fastest on the second run with Stefan Hadalin second fastest but Hadalin had had the advantage of going second down a clean course, Odermatt had gone 27th down the course. With the sun softening the snow all the while and the course breaking up in various places, Odermatt was just in inspiring form.

Henrik Kristoffersen had allowed a rare smile to be seen on his face after he left the leaders enclosure having lifted himself from 12th and into 7th after the second run. Kristoffersen had won last time out in Kranjska Gora in Giant Slalom, the last race of Marcel Hirscher's incredible career.

The three wins on the bounce for Alexis Pinturault in December through January seem a long time ago now. The tickets for the World Cup Finals have now all been decided and next week the Globe will be sorted.

For Charlie Raposo the results will show a DNF but he had a hugely encouraging top section before he lost the line and came out. After the race he explained "I am disappointed and frustrated but today was good, it was definitely the best skiing I have put into a World Cup race, conditions considering as it was very difficult to go into the thirty today as you sw with 36 the last bib in until 47 went into thirtieth. I skied well with a little bobble on the top pitch and then really solid through the middle section and things were looking promising."

Raposo explained that it was a classic racing tactical mistake that got him: "My turn started a little bit too early, skis hooked up into the top of the turn."

"It stings a little bit to get over because I am skiing better than I ever have and I think that I have showed that with consistent skiing in the Europa Cup and still not having bought my top skiing to the Europa Cup," Raposo explained. The Europa Cup has been a super exciting and challenging competition this year Raposo explained. A lot of the racers that have done well on the Europa Cup, the likes of Brennsteiner and Favrot have gone on to regularly place in the top twenty on the World Cup. For the likes of Raposo this has made scoring results that will move them up the rankings even harder. Yet to be the best, you have to beat the rest it could be argued. Raposo is not one to shy away from a challenge and he has embraced the challenge.

With a lot of racers becoming one discipline racers, Raposo explained that the lack of clashes between the World Cup and Europa Cup has meant that a lot of the next generation of racers have embraced both tours. Next Thursday are the Finals on the Europa Cup and Raposo has his "sights set on that and I a driving towards that. I believe the progress is on the right way for that."

Raposo is already looking to the summer and seeing what changes need to be made to improve his skiing. Raposo has always been a great planner and this summer will be no different as he "looks to deliver on next season"

Raposo is brutally honest but saying that he is no longer satisfied with good splits, goos sections, "I will only he happy when I make the thirty because I know that is where I can be on a good day and that is what needs to happen."

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