Alexis Pinturault impressed this season, especially with his four consecutive giant slalom victories and combined discipline title. The Frenchman, who will likely be a serious contender for the overall globe in the coming years, took the time to answer a few questions from the FIS about his amazing season and goals for the future.
Did 2015-16 exceed your expectations or was this the goal from the beginning?
One part of the winter was below my expectations, but the other one was clearly above. Of course, my crash in Beaver Creek could not be foreseen and since it took me a few weeks to fully recover, I could not reach what I wanted at that time of the year.
We have a feeling that even more would have been possible without the concussion you suffered in Beaver Creek that bothered you in the following weeks. How did you get along with that?
It’s hard to say what could have happened ‘if’… Fact is that I had this crash and I had to deal with it. But for sure it was not easy to be on the World Cup tour knowing that I could not perform at 100 percent. I hope I can turn this bad experience into something positive for the future.
What was the highlight of this season? The four wins in a row in giant slalom? The globe? The French podium sweeps? One single race?
For me, the four back-to-back victories were very special and for sure it will remain one of the highlights of the season. But to win the globe was also a memorable moment, especially since I took it in Chamonix, in front of my home crowd.
The French team was extremely strong this season (to the point that the Nations Cup got thrilling for the first time since 1992) and showed great team spirit. To what extend can an individual athlete benefit from this situation?
The two podium sweeps this winter (Kitzbuehel AC and St.Moritz GS) and the Nations Cup ranking show that we had our best season in years. We are one tight team. Even if we are contenders on the slope, we have a really good time together, with everyone being on the same page. I think this is what allows us to feel good and it brings out the best in each one of us.
Together with Kjetil Jansrud, you are one of the athletes who participated in the most races this season (30 total!). It must be challenging to keep your energy level high throughout the season, and yet you earned a win in Chamonix after being jetlagged from Japan and a podium at the Finals. What’s the secret?
Yes, that’s true, it’s a lot of races. It worked this year, but looking back, I’m not sure it’s the best thing to do, because you pile up tiredness and it (prevents) us (from) fully express(ing) ourselves at every single race.
Is summertime mostly resting and enjoying time at home or does the intensive travel and training rhythm go on? What are your plans up to the World Cup opening in Soelden?
We have time to rest, but summer is also training time. Actually, it’s during the summer that we train the most, both physical condition training and technical training on the skis. There is still a long way to go and a lot of things to do before Soelden, starting with going on holidays.
What about the goals for next season? What will you try to improve? Where will the main focus be?
My goals will depend on my preparation, but the World Championships in St. Moritz will be be the highlight of next season. I’ll focus on giant slalom, slalom and alpine combined so I can be in the best shape for every single race of the season.
Release courtesy of FIS