LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland – Rising to the moment on his 30th birthday, French skier Alexis Pinturault secured his first overall World Cup title on Saturday.

Pinturault won a giant slalom giving him an unbeatable points lead in the season-long standings over breakout Swiss star Marco Odermatt, who placed 11th in Saturday’s race on home snow at Lenzerheide.

“What a day,” Pinturault said in an interview with Swiss broadcaster RTS. “It was a really beautiful battle with Marco. He will really be a big champion in our sport.”

Pinturault is the first men’s overall champion from France in 24 years, since Luc Alphand won. The only other Frenchman to win was Jean Claude-Killy, in the first two seasons after the World Cup circuit started in 1967.

The giant slalom was key because Odermatt skips slalom, which is the season-ending race on Sunday when Pinturault is also a threat to win.

As the first-run leader, Pinturault was the final starter in the second run on Saturday afternoon. He had won the overall title two minutes before he began the run as Odermatt slipped down the leaderboard.

Still, Pinturault delivered a winning run to finish 0.20 seconds ahead of Filip Zubcic. Mathieu Faivre, the world championships gold medalist last month, was third, 0.21 back. Odermatt ended 1.28 back.

Pinturault also won the giant slalom discipline title. The 100 points he earned with the win overtook Odermatt, who held a 25-point lead before racing.

“A bit sad now, but that’s it,” said the 23-year-old Swiss. “It’s a beautiful season for me, but today I’m a bit frustrated.”

Long predicted to be the best all-around skier, Pinturault was runner-up in the past two seasons. He also had three third-place finishes when now-retired Austrian great Marcel Hirscher was winning a record eight straight titles from 2012 to 2019.

A 34th career win in World Cup races lifted Pinturault out of a tie with Bode Miller and into eighth place on the men’s all-time list.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more.

Men’s World Cup – Giant Slalom – Lenzerheide, Switzerland – March 20, 2021

6 COMMENTS

  1. Pinturault came through. Good for him! We, and especially Odermatt, were denied a chance to see a potentially more exciting race for the men’s overall, that may have gone down to the (last race) wire, on the snow. (Gut-Behrami was more onerously robbed of a chance to compete) It was terrible that the DH & SG finals were cancelled. Puts speed skiers at a distinct disadvantage. Yet, there was a “Team Event”? Pinturault could have been racing for the overall globe tomorrow, while Odermatt theoretically nursed a slim lead. Now, we’ll never know and all the top results are wrapped up. Good for the winners, and for the competitive runner’s up, a big cheer. You made it interesting. Nothing but negative thoughts for the “wisdom” of FIS schedulers and their seeming determination to pull an anticlimactic ending from the jaws of a potentially scintillating finals.

    • Outdoor sport is unfair so just deal with it. Pintu did not come crying last year when the pandemic hit us. He could/should have won the title last year too…
      The FIS had to put rules as previous years each final /WC hosting country would do what ever they want with the program change. If you not happy, present yourself for the FIS presidency next time. Fcuking useless keyboard warrior with short memory span.

  2. Bill No Mates would have us just be happy with what we are offered. Take it and like it. Interesting. Apparently we should be happy to be riding around in Model T’s, risking Polio, and having screw on edges with painted bottoms on our skis. Outdoor sports will seldom have have even conditions. This is not a problem of seeding, course set or the weather. This is a repetitive problem of scheduling. If it is annoying core viewers, you know, those who are interested enough to watch and do their small part to pay for the sport, then FIS is losing the game. This era is not a high point in World Cup popularity. Lose more of your audience and eventually ski racing will become a niche sport, even in Austria. Bill No Mates, from one keyboard warrior to another, chapeau.

  3. Handbags πŸ‘œ! Who gives a monkey. Apply to the FIS and become an official or shut the fk up. As if writing comments on web going to influence/change anything. People like you [with negative views and looking at the past] bring nothing to the sport but still expect [because they pay a TV license], they can make demands and criticise.
    Suggest to watch Swiss French TSR2 coverage of WC next year: they always positive and encourage ALL athletes /federation/organisations … That is the way forward.
    Pay my FIS & National licence and Club fee, ski with family and race with friends…and try make me feel better by offsetting my carbon use with Climeworks.com, that’s my contribution to the sport and sometimes annoy an old fart on the web 🎹🀑 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  4. Bill No Mates. You have zero idea as to my association with FIS or apparently much else except bluster. . When you assume, you are just a ……. Don’t give a monkey about you or your opinion when you are not even civil. Name call and fake curse away. Jeff out.

  5. Meh, I gave it just a little thought and a fellow useless blanking keyboard warrior isn’t going to run me off, especially when I have a legitimate complaint. So, in the most general terms and as an analogy, view the World Cup season as a great rock & roll concert. The band plays their set list and the fans are having a great time. They leave the stage and the fans cheer, wanting more. Grey hairs light up their lighters while the younger crowd light up their smart phones. Then the band comes out and the crescendo is their encore. They play great and with passion. Everyone leaves happy. With this year’s World Cup there were challenges to playing the setlist. Covid made things different, but it happened and it was done well. The fans were happy. The encore, the World Cup finals, where only the top skiers qualified, left fans anticipating a great show for the remaining globes. Then, two of the top hit songs planned for the encore were not played. Fans left and felt let down. If the FIS is a competent organization, it will look to comments on a variety of sites to see where fans think they have done well and where they can do better. One doesn’t have to seek office w/ FIS to participate. I pay to read and comment on SRM. SRM has offered me this forum and I’ve followed their rules for use. If they think I’ve violated, I’m sure they will let me know. If Bill No Mates doesn’t want me to post here, he can take a hike. As he/she suggests I’m not going the “shut the fk up”.

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