Number of medals
3 Olympic medals
2 Olympic Games
Frenchman's victory is his second consecutive giant slalom triumph and extends his Crystal Globe lead over Aleksander Aamodt Kilde
France's Alexis Pinturault breezed to his second consecutive Alpine Ski World Cup giant slalom victory on Friday (8 January) in Adelboden, extending his lead at the top of the overall Cup standings over Aleksander Aamodt Kilde to 60 points.
In clear, sunny conditions with hard, icy snow, Pinturault was fully in control on a difficult course that caught many skiers off-guard towards the bottom of the slopes.
Pinturault had led from slalom red bib and home Swiss hope Marco Odermatt by 0.96 seconds after a superb first run in which the Frenchman was the first man to ski, and ultimately Odermatt was unable to catch Pinturault.
He extended his lead from the first run for a total time of two minutes, 18.26 seconds, 1.04 seconds ahead of Croatia's Filip Zubcic.
Odermatt was third, retaining the red bib by ten points over Pinturault.
The last man to win back-to-back GS World Cup races was Pinturault himself, with his 2018/19 Finals win in Soldeu and 2019/20 season-opening win in Sölden.
It was Pinturault's 16th career World Cup giant slalom win, which moves him above Alberto Tomba for sole possession of fifth place on the all-time list. It was also his 32nd World Cup race victory in his career.
"It came from my first run, that's what made the difference and it was very close in the second run – I was just (seven) hundredths to (Zubcic). Today, the first run for me was very important," Pinturault told FIS after the race.
Norway's Lucas Braathen took the lead with 10 racers left to go but side-swiped the final gate and suffered a heavy crash sliding into the finish area, tumbling over himself and having to be taken away on a stretcher.
The race was not immediately stopped, allowing his teammate Kilde – who was already on the course – to overtake him for the lead. However, the experienced Kilde realised his teammate was still down in the corner of the finish area and immediately went to check on his friend.
Kilde kept the lead until Zubcic, third after the first run, took his second attempt.
Zubcic, the winner of this season's first Santa Caterina giant slalom, extended his first-run lead over his Norwegian rival to lay down a marker for both Odermatt and Pinturault.
Odermatt, just one-hundredth quicker than the Croatian after the first run, did his best to match Zubcic but fell just short, coming home seven-hundredths down.
But Pinturault never looked in trouble on his own second round, staying in control all the way down the Norwegian-designed course to claim victory.
Competition continues with another giant slalom in Adelboden on Saturday before a slalom on Sunday.
"The point will be to recover, we were in Zagreb two days ago and today another race. I will try my best to recover and be ready for tomorrow," Pinturault said.