Of the last 38 World Cup giant slalom races, only four were not won by Ted Ligety, Marcel Hirscher or Alexis Pinturault. Sunday was one of those days. Mathieu Faivre of France won his first-ever FIS Alpine World Cup race in front of a home crowd in Val d’Isere, finishing with a combined time of 2:25.01. Accompanying him on the podium was Hirscher and Pinturault, who finished in second and third place.
Faivre called the day “amazing,” and when asked about what he did differently in the offseason to prepare for the winter, his answer was simple.
“I just keep working,” he said. “To train with the other French guys, it’s very good, too, to be better, so I’m very happy about my summer.”
Hirscher, who was 0.49 seconds off the winning pace, repeated his performance from Soelden. The Austrian has won at Val d’Isere four times before and was hoping to make Sunday’s race number five, but he could not catch Faivre’s second run time.
“Today, he [was] nearly unbeatable because I mean my second run was really not too bad, but I had no chance against Mathieu,” the Austrian shared.
Pinturault was able to move up three spots thanks to his ripping second run to land in the third podium spot. The Frenchman was 1.11 seconds off the winning pace.
“It was pretty unexpected to be on the podium after my first run, so I just wanted to attack, push really hard,” Pinturault said.
Pinturault and Hirscher are now tied for the lead in the giant slalom standings with 160 points a piece while the Austrian has taken the overall lead with 280 points.
No doubt the French giant slalom skiers have been pushing each other training, as they snagged four of the top five spots today with Thomas Fanara and Victor Muffat-Jeandet skiing just off the podium in fourth and fifth place.
Henrik Kristoffersen returned to the circuit for the race. Last season’s slalom globe winner was absent from the Levi, Finland, slalom last month while dealing with an ongoing spat with the Norwegian federation regarding his helmet sponsor. Today, he raced with Telenor on his helmet and skied to eighth place.
After a tough downhill for the American men, the team seemed to find its rhythm in giant slalom with five of the six starters earning top-30 results. Ligety led the team with an 11th-place finish while Tommy Ford took advantage of his second run starting position to take 14th place.
“It’s too bad that Beaver Creek was canceled or had to be moved to here,” Ford said. “But they did a great job here, and the snow was awesome and it’s fun to have our team go for it.”
Tim Jitloff finished the day in 18th place. Cochran-Siegle had a career-best GS finish, landing in 22nd position. David Chodounsky picked up at 27th place result. Brennan Rubie did not finish the first run.
Erik Read was the lone member of Canadian team to make the top 30, moving from bib 52 all the way to ninth place. It was the first time that Read earned World Cup giant slalom points and his first World Cup finish in the top 10, although he did finish an unofficial 21st in Beaver Creek last season before being disqualified for an equipment infraction. Read is also the reigning NCAA slalom champion and will look to defend his title at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire, come March. Trevor Philp and Phil Brown did not qualify for a second run, and Dustin Cook did not finish first run.
NBCSN will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. EST on Sunday. Men’s World Cup action continues next weekend with another giant slalom and a slalom at Val d’Isere.
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- Mathieu Faivre (FRA) – Head / Head / Head
- Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
- Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head / Head / Head
- Thomas Fanara (FRA) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Victor Muffat-Jeandet (FRA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Luca De Aliprandini (ITA) – Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
- Philipp Schoerghofer (AUT) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol/Rossignol/Look
- Erik Read (CAN) – Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
- Riccardo Tonetti (ITA) – Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|6||24||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA||1:13.15||1:13.99||2:27.14||+2.13||14.39|
|17||11||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:13.61||1:14.45||2:28.06||+3.05||20.61|
|19||31||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR||1:13.56||1:14.61||2:28.17||+3.16||21.36|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|38||422112||PATRICKSSON Axel William||1992||NOR|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|59||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|