VAL d’Isère, France
Marco Odermatt let out a cry and puffed up his right fist after completing a Men’s World Cup giant slalom on Saturday.
The Swiss skier celebrated his third win of the season and seventh overall after dominating the race and winning it by almost six-tenths of a second.
Odermatt coped better with the difficult course conditions on the Face de Bellevarde after overnight snowfall as he beat overall champion Alexis Pinturault by 0.59.
Austrian skier Manuel Feller finished third at 1.24 for his second career podium in the discipline.
“Unbelievable, I don’t know what to say. It’s a really cool win today, ”said Odermatt, who claimed two podiums, including a super G victory in Beaver Creek, Colo., Last week.
“Probably the worst preparation for a race that I have ever done and to be able to ski again like this, it’s a good state of mind. Yeah, that’s really cool, ”he added.
Odermatt also triumphed in the season opening giant slalom in Austria in October and became the first male skier to win the first two GS races in a season since Ted Ligety achieved the feat in 2013.
The Swiss skier leads the overall standings with 446 points, 136 ahead of Matthias Mayer and 217 ahead of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, both absent from Saturday’s race.
Pinturault is 241 points behind in fourth position.
Croatian skier Filip Zubcic, who finished third after the first run, skied halfway through his second run, and GS world champion Mathieu Faivre was more than two seconds behind the leader in the eighth.
River Radamus clocked the third fastest time of the final heat as the American moved from 23rd to 13th, behind Odermatt by 2.33 seconds.
Course workers moved up to 50 centimeters of fresh snow out of the race line in the early hours of the morning.
“We all knew it would be very difficult, that it would be a fight. I tried to have a smart race: a little aggressive and only pushing as much as possible, ”said Odermatt after his first race.
Adrian Pertl, silver medalist at the World Slalom Championships last season, hung up a gate with his left ski in the first run. The Austrian Ski Federation said Pertl was taken to hospital with suspected knee injury.
The race weekend in the French Alps ends on Sunday with a men’s slalom.