Dominant Odermatt Wins Both Giant-Slalom World Cup Races in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Marco Odermatt
Swiss ski racer Marco Odermatt dominated in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. | Picture: Marco Odermatt Instagram Account

Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt showed just who’s boss in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, dominating the two Giant-Slalom events from the get-go. Odermatt was leading the rankings for Giant Slalom as well as the Overall 22/23 season standings going into the race but extended his lead by another 200 points with these two victories.

On Saturday for the first run, the Swiss ski racer was the third racer and went into the lead half a second ahead of the local favorite, Slovenia’s Zan Kranjec. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was just 0.01 seconds behind the Slovenian in third, while Austria’s Stefan Brennsteiner and Alexis Pinturault from France rounded out the top 5 after the first run.

The very technically challenging Giant-Slalom course became rutted quickly, making the race challenging for starters with higher bibs and causing a lot of DNFs in the first run, including America’s Tommy Ford, who caught an edge mid-way down the course, causing him to go too low for the following gate, ending his run with a DNF. Teammate River Radamus ended his first run in the 16th but managed to improve on his second run to the 15th.

All eyes were naturally on the top-5 skiers from the first run, who go last in the second run. Odermatt remained strong on his second run and remained in first place, while France’s Alexis Pinturault managed to catapult himself to second place with the second fastest second run of the day, knocking down Kristoffersen to third place. Zan Kranjec unfortunately was relegated to fifth.

Odermatt Pinturault
Saturday’s Giant Slalom podium: 1st Marco Odermatt, 2nd Alexis Pinturault, 3rd Henrik Kristoffersen. | Picture: Marco Odermatt Instagram Account

On Sunday the podium looked much the same, except Pinturault finished in third and Kristoffersen in second. Pinturault finished the season strong after a comparably weak start by his standards. He won the Combined as well as a Bronze in Super-G at the recent World Championships in Courchevel and Méribél, France, and this weekend’s podiums mark his 69th and 70th career World Cup podium. Norway’s Kristoffersen meanwhile has finished the season in second place in the 22/23 rankings in both Slalom and Giant-Slalom, as well as third in the overall season standings.

US ski racer River Radamus finished in 17th while Tommy Ford finished in 21st and George Steffey in 26th, earning all three of them valuable FIS points.

The big star however this weekend is Odermatt, who has won a total of 11 World Cups this season and podiumed a total of 20 times in 22/23, earning him the Overall season Crystal Globe, the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe as well as the Super-G Crystal Globe. When asked how he managed to deliver such an incredibly consistent season, the 25-year-old wunderkind merely replied, “There is no secret, you just have to fight and stay on the line and keep your speed.”

Odermatt celebrating his 20th season podium. | Picture: Marco Odermatt Instagram Account

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