Alexis Pinturault Wins 2023 World Championships in Combined — 4th Place for US Skier River Radamus

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
The Alpine Combined podium at the 2023 World Championship: 1st Alexis Pinturault, 2nd Marco Schwarz, 3rd Raphael Haaser. | Picture: Ski Austria Alpin Herren Instagram Account

Alexis Pinturault smashed the Combined on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at the 2023 FIS Alpine World Championships in Courchevel and Méribél, France. Much like Federica Brignone yesterday, the French native was in the lead after the first run — the Super-G race — meaning he was first to start the Slalom run, which arguably gives you an advantage as the course softens up and becomes more rutted for subsequent skiers.

Austria’s Marco Schwarz and Raphael Haaser were ranked second and third from the Super-G and also managed to carry that lead into the second run, meaning the final podium was a carbon copy of the first run rankings. However, the lead Pinturault carried into the Slalom was a mere 0.08 seconds to second-placed Schwarz and 0.14 to third-placed Haaser, putting an enormous pressure on the French skier to stay ahead of the Austrian duo who were in hot pursuit of the Championship title. Schwarz is a strong Slalom skier and was the defending Combined Champion from 2021, so the pressure was on for Pinturault, who is currently ranked 4th in the World Cup in Super-G but only 16th in Slalom.

Maybe it was the home advantage and the adoring French crowd that brought out the incredibly strong run by Pinturault as he not only hung on to his lead but managed to extend it by a hair to 0.10 seconds in front of Schwarz. Raphael Haaser, who is not even ranked in Slalom, skied into third, 0.44 seconds behind the French race skier.

Austrian Alpine
An elated Austrian Team after the double podium for Austria with Schwarz and Haaser winning second and third place in the Alpine Combined. | Picture: Ski Austria Alpin Herren Instagram Account

Raphael Haaser was probably the most interesting podium position of the day. If you followed yesterday’s women’s recap, you might find the name sounding familiar. Raphael is indeed the little brother of yesterday’s third-placed Ricarda Haaser, who won her first career podium in the Women’s Combined behind Federica Brignone and Wendy Holdener.

The siblings’ medals have been the biggest surprise of these 2023 World Championships in France. Raphael Haaser has one podium to his name in Super-G from Bormio in 2021 and does not usually compete in Slalom, at least not on the World Cup circuit. Raphael admitted in an interview:

“When I was standing at the start at the inspection, I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know how to go about there,’ but I think I did a pretty solid run and I’m really happy.” 

The third place in Combined could be the career breakthrough for the 25-year-old Austrian. The Haaser family hails from Tyrol, Austria, and the mother is a ski instructor and the father used to be a race skier who retired from the FIS circuit in 2000.

Raphael Haaser
Third placed Raphael Haaser and his father. | Picture: Kronenzeitung Website

Team USA showed strong results with River Radamus in 4th place, Erik Arvidsson in 9th, Ryan Cochran-Siegle in 10th while Luke Winters, unfortunately, did not manage to finish the Slalom run, but had placed 29th after the Super-G run. Similar to the women yesterday, many speed specialists did not attempt the technical Slalom course, so in total 10 men dropped out after the Super-G run, including Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, Vincent Kriechmayr, and James Crawford, deciding instead to focus on their strengths and not risk injury.

It is a fantastic result for 24-year-old Radamus who is showing much promise. The Colorado native has won two Junior World Championships in Super-G and Giant Slalom in 2019. This is his second World Championship and we will be watching him closely in the next two weeks. Follow all the action on NBC Peacock or Eurosport if you have a VPN.

River Radamus
River Radamus on the course of the Super-G at the 2023 World Championships. | Picture: US Ski Team Instagram Acount

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One thought on “Alexis Pinturault Wins 2023 World Championships in Combined — 4th Place for US Skier River Radamus

  1. Alexis my favorite. See that slalom course, was a tough one. Nice work River very well done. Hard to find coverage though.

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