While hard snow and sunshine made for a picture-perfect ski racing day, Adelboden felt a bit strange and quiet without the usually raucous 30,000-40,000-person fanbase hollering at the finish due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that didn’t stop Alexis Pinturault of France from putting on a master class in the tricky second run set and taking the win by over a second. Filip Zubcic of Croatia was second and Marco Odermatt third. The Frenchman turned in the fastest times of both the first and second run and earned the victory with a commanding 1.04-second advantage.
It was the second giant slalom victory for Pinturault in Adelboden, his first coming four years ago. It was also his second giant slalom win in a row after he picked up right where he left off before the holiday break after also dominating in Alta Badia.
Conditions were ideal for the racers today in Adelboden with cloudless blue skies and freezing temperatures, setting up the optimal giant slalom course.
Second place went to Croatian Filip Zubcic, who, after finishing third in the first run, completed a near-flawless second run to move up a spot in the standings.
Third place was claimed by Marco Odermatt, who ended Switzerland’s 13-year giant slalom podium drought in Adelboden. Expectations were high for the current giant slalom standings leader, and the 23-year-old delivered giving the Alpine nation reason to celebrate.
Swiss fans could also boast about a strong overall team performance with Justin Murisier and Loic Meillard finishing in fifth and sixth, respectively.
The win by Pinturault pulls him to within 10 points of Odermatt in the season giant slalom standings. Odermatt has 350 points, while Pinturault is nipping at his heels with 340 points
Tommy Ford led the way for the U.S. Alpine Ski Team men on a stunning day in Adelboden, Switzerland, finishing 10th in the FIS World Cup giant slalom. Ryan Cochran-Siegle was right on Tommy’s tails in 12th, with River Radamus collecting his best GS finish in 18th.
While hard snow and sunshine made for a picture-perfect ski racing day, Adelboden felt a bit strange and quiet without the usually raucous 30,000-40,000-person fanbase hollering at the finish due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that didn’t stop Alexis Pinturault of France from putting on a master class in the tricky second run set and taking the win by over a second. Filip Zubcic of Croatia was second and Marco Odermatt third.
Both Tommy and Ryan threatened the podium after their first runs, sitting in fourth and sixth place respectively, but a few errors in the difficult second run tripped them up and set them back a few places. However, both were still happy to put another good result under their belts. This was Tommy’s fourth top-10 GS finish in a row, with his second-place podium finish in Santa Caterina yet to be bested in 2020-21 season.
Ryan, who was once nicknamed a giant slalom specialist, has been cleaning up in the speed events this season—winning the Bormio super-G and podiuming in the Val Gardena downhill to wrap up 2020. Adelboden was Ryan’s best giant slalom result since he was 11th in Soelden last season.
But the most exciting story of the day was River Radamus, who missed the flip in the Adelboden GS by .01 seconds in 2020 and used that disappointing result to propel him to his best GS result in his career in Friday’s race.
“The day after the race last year, I took a screenshot of the results page and had it as my phone background for the last year,” said River. “It was probably one of the toughest days of my skiing career and so I used it as motivation all summer and coming into this season. To get in and find some points and have my personal best here a year later means a lot to me… Not feeling like I had my best skiing and having a personal best means I’m on the right track and the things I’ve been doing all summer are paying off.”
Having won two World Juniors gold medals in 2019, River has had the pressure on him to show that he could be competitive on the World Cup—and he’s been succeeding, scoring points in three races so far this season. His 18th place finish bested his 20th place finish in Alta Badia at the end of December, but he’s hungry for more.
“I feel like I left a lot on the table today,” added River. “So having the confidence to know that I can do it—taking it for everything that it’s worth and pushing the line, pushing the pace and skiing more aggressively tomorrow is my goal.”
Rounding out the U.S. men, Ted Ligety, Bridger Gile and George Steffey did not qualify for a second run.