Frenchman Alexis Pinturault not only won the alpine combined in Chamonix, France, on Friday, he also took home his first career World Cup discipline crystal globe, winning the race with a total time of 2:13.29 seconds. Following Pinturault in second was Italian Dominik Paris, 0.27 seconds back. Pinturault’s compatriot, Thomas Mermillod Blondin, managed to hang on for third place, 0.57 seconds off the winner’s pace.

Due to morning fog and upwards of 30 centimeters of fresh snow, organizers made the decision to flip the schedule, running the slalom run first and waiting until the afternoon to run the downhill portion as skies were expected to clear later in the day. Heavily overcast skies and flat light was the name of the game in the slalom run as Pinturault, wearing bib 2, took advantage of his early number and bested the field in the slalom run by 0.36 seconds, more than one full second ahead of his closest rivals in the combined standings.

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After an additional one-hour delay before the downhill run, action got underway in the afternoon under snowy conditions. As the top 30 flip went on, skies slowly began to clear as the start order approached the fastest racers from the slalom run.

Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud, who was tied with Pinturault at the top of the combined standings heading into Friday’s race, looked to have set the time to beat after his downhill run but was ultimately too far out from his slalom leg to threaten for the win.

Paris skied into the lead with his downhill run and was able to fend off each subsequent challenger until Pinturault left the starting gate. Doing just enough to secure the victory, Pinturault crossed the finish to the delight of the home crowd and relished his first official combined discipline title. The Frenchman had finished atop the standings two other seasons when too few races were held to award a small globe.

“I didn’t realize right away that I won,” admitted Pinturault. “I saw the flags and heard the crowd screaming, but I couldn’t believe it. Finally, I saw the timing board and yes, I won. With the experience, you get to know where to attack and where to let go. In downhill, after a few racers there are marks on the line and you need to follow this track, it will always be faster. But the key was to be active in the turns and on the terrain.”

“For me, it’s very important,” he continued. “First, because I was leading in the first run and in the alpine combined standings, this means a lot of pressure, and then I had to ski a track that I’m not used to, I’m not a downhiller. So at the start I was really nervous, so the emotions in the finish were even stronger.”

Paris, who sat over one second behind Pinturault after the morning’s slalom run, knew he had to do something special if he was going to make up that much time on the Frenchman, especially after a mistake in his slalom run.

“I did a mistake in the slalom, so at the beginning I was a little big angry,” Paris said. “But in the end, I’m very happy with my result, especially with the downhill run. At the beginning of the season I would not have thought that I would be on an alpine combined podium, I only train slalom 6-8 times a season. But I saw there was a chance, I tried everything and pushed hard.”

For Mermillod Blondin, his podium secured him a runner-up spot in the overall combined standings. After a hard crash during training in Jeongseon, South Korea, he was unsure if he would even be fit enough to race today. Also, at the post-race flower ceremony, Mermillod Blondin proposed to his girlfriend in front of a cheering crowd. She said yes, of course.

“Physically, I’m not 100 percent due to my crash in Korea,” he explained. “My hip still hurts and I’m struggling to let go and ski high speed. And with the two catastrophic downhill training runs I had, the confidence was definitely not at the highest level. But thanks to a good bib number I could control the damage in the slalom and then I just risked it in the downhill. I was not even sure to race today, so this podium is very special for me.”

Leading the way for the Americans was Jared Goldberg in 20th, who charged from 37th after the slalom run with the sixth fastest downhill time. Just behind Goldberg in 21st was Bryce Bennett, who continued his string of scoring results this season but unfortunately missed being ranked inside the top 15 in combined by just one point – which would have qualified Bennett for the A Team – finishing the season ranked 16th in the world.

“From our side, we have not trained enough slalom, clearly,” explained men’s head coach Sasha Rearick. “Today was a very easy course set and it was about really just skiing with confidence to send it down the hill. They were all half-turns. In half-turn courses you have to be subtle and soft on each turn and we didn’t do that. In the downhill, I thought Jared and Bryce actually did a good job.”

Another notable performance came from the likes of Frenchman Blaise Giezendanner, who won the downhill run starting 39th and ultimately landed in 10th place at the end of the day. Croatian sensation Ivica Kostelic also managed his first top 10 of the season, finishing in ninth. The 2011 overall champion has been struggling with injury as of late, and is a welcome addition to the front page of the results sheet.

The combined season standings ended up with Pinturault in first with 210 points followed by Mermillod Blondin with 170. Jansrud managed to hold on to third place in the standings with 165 points. These standings are final as there are no more combined events scheduled this season.

Saturday’s downhill is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. CET barring any additional weather issues.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

  1. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
  2. Paris, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  3. Mermillod Blondin, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  4. Muffat-Jeandet, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
  5. Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
  6. Janka, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  7. Theaux, Head/Head/Head
  8. Tonetti, Volkl/Tecnica/Marker
  9. Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  10. Giezenndanner, Head/Head/Head
  • Men’s World Cup alpine combined, Chamonix, France, Feb. 19, 2016. … It is the 30th of the men’s 44 race schedule. … The third of three combined races. … It is the 35th World Cup race Chamonix has hosted or co-hosted and the 12th World Cup combined. … It is the 2016 Kandahar, the first having been held at Chamonix in 1928. … The downhill leg was the second of the two runs.
  • It is the 12th career World Cup win for Alexis Pinturault. … His fifth in combined. … It is his third win of the season and second in combined. … The winning margin is 0.27 of a second. … Top six are within the same second. … Top eight within two seconds.
  • It is the 12th career World Cup podium for Dominik Paris … his first in combined. … His previous best in combined had been fifth on Jan. 15, at Wengen. … It is his second podium of the season, the other in DH at Jeongseon Feb. 6.
  • It is the sixth career World Cup podium for Thomas Mermillod Blondin. … The fifth in combined. … It is his second podium of the season, the other at Kitzbuehel where he was third in combined.
  • Local skier Blaise Giezendanner was the star of the day, starting 39th after the slalom leg and using his knowledge of the downhill track “La Verte des Houches”  to strike into the top 10.
  • It is the ninth trip into the top 20 of a World Cup for Jared Goldberg. … Bryce Bennett notched his fifth career World Cup scoring finish, all of them from this season. … It is the second career World Cup scoring result for Broderick Thompson, improving over his Wengen combined finish by one placing.
  • None of the top three in the men’s World Cup overall standings participated in the race. … Marcel Hirscher leads 1045-957 over Henrik Kristoffersen with Aksel Lund Svindal third at 916pts.
  • Pinturault leads the combined standings 220-170 over Mermillod Blondin and claims the small crystal globe in the discipline.. … Kjetil Jansrud is third with 165pts.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 3945-3580 over France. … Norway is third with 3476pts. … The U.S. is sixth at 1608 and Canada ninth at 456pts.

Official Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  2  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  42.55  1:30.74  2:13.29  0.00
 2  1  291459 PARIS Dominik 1989 ITA  43.82  1:29.74  2:13.56  +0.27  2.33
 3  3  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA  42.91  1:30.95  2:13.86  +0.57  4.92
 4  6  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  42.92  1:31.06  2:13.98  +0.69  5.95
 5  4  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  44.22  1:29.79  2:14.01  +0.72  6.21
 6  5  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  43.83  1:30.35  2:14.18  +0.89  7.68
 7  12  192746 THEAUX Adrien 1984 FRA  44.59  1:30.05  2:14.64  +1.35  11.65
 8  20  291318 TONETTI Riccardo 1989 ITA  44.20  1:30.88  2:15.08  +1.79  15.44
 9  8  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica 1979 CRO  43.73  1:31.58  2:15.31  +2.02  17.43
 10  53  194298 GIEZENDANNER Blaise 1991 FRA  46.83  1:28.54  2:15.37  +2.08  17.95
 11  17  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR  45.03  1:30.42  2:15.45  +2.16  18.64
 12  16  292455 FILL Peter 1982 ITA  45.74  1:29.80  2:15.54  +2.25  19.41
 13  13  511529 GISIN Marc 1988 SUI  45.23  1:30.39  2:15.62  +2.33  20.10
 14  19  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI  43.98  1:32.13  2:16.11  +2.82  24.33
 15  7  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT  45.29  1:30.85  2:16.14  +2.85  24.59
 16  41  202535 DRESSEN Thomas 1993 GER  45.34  1:31.01  2:16.35  +3.06  26.40
 17  14  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent 1991 AUT  45.02  1:31.43  2:16.45  +3.16  27.26
 18  22  194542 GIRAUD MOINE Valentin 1992 FRA  46.01  1:30.48  2:16.49  +3.20  27.61
 19  9  380292 ZRNCIC DIM Natko 1986 CRO  44.70  1:31.82  2:16.52  +3.23  27.87
 20  18  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA  46.67  1:30.19  2:16.86  +3.57  30.80
 21  10  6530104 BENNETT Bryce 1992 USA  45.36  1:31.52  2:16.88  +3.59  30.97
 22  35  511981 WEBER Ralph 1993 SUI  45.80  1:31.10  2:16.90  +3.61  31.15
 23  27  511847 MANI Nils 1992 SUI  46.58  1:30.44  2:17.02  +3.73  32.18
 24  59  512124 HINTERMANN Niels 1995 SUI  46.62  1:30.41  2:17.03  +3.74  32.27
 25  15  561217 KOSI Klemen 1991 SLO  45.52  1:31.65  2:17.17  +3.88  33.48
 26  29  294277 KLOTZ Siegmar 1987 ITA  45.95  1:31.24  2:17.19  +3.90  33.65
 27  55  104096 THOMPSON Broderick 1994 CAN  46.60  1:30.67  2:17.27  +3.98  34.34
 28  24  200379 SANDER Andreas 1989 GER  46.78  1:30.55  2:17.33  +4.04  34.86
 29  48  194873 SARRAZIN Cyprien 1994 FRA  46.09  1:31.26  2:17.35  +4.06  35.03
 30  52  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE  44.85  1:32.67  2:17.52  +4.23  36.50
 30  25  990081 CASSE Mattia 1990 ITA  47.12  1:30.40  2:17.52  +4.23  36.50
 32  33  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI  44.70  1:33.02  2:17.72  +4.43  38.22
 33  21  293006 INNERHOFER Christof 1984 ITA  45.72  1:32.12  2:17.84  +4.55  39.26
 34  23  430429 BYDLINSKI Maciej 1988 POL  46.06  1:32.34  2:18.40  +5.11  44.09
 35  45  54009 WALDER Christian 1991 AUT  47.30  1:31.15  2:18.45  +5.16  44.52
 36  49  150743 BERNDT Ondrej 1988 CZE  46.18  1:32.39  2:18.57  +5.28  45.55
 37  47  6290845 BOSCA Guglielmo 1993 ITA  47.24  1:31.45  2:18.69  +5.40  46.59
 38  44  561322 HADALIN Stefan 1995 SLO  44.80  1:34.23  2:19.03  +5.74  49.52
 39  43  303758 SUGAI Ryo 1991 JPN  45.48  1:33.58  2:19.06  +5.77  49.78
 40  50  103762 WERRY Tyler 1991 CAN  46.95  1:32.21  2:19.16  +5.87  50.65
 41  54  380341 ULLRICH Max 1994 CRO  47.09  1:32.12  2:19.21  +5.92  51.08
 42  38  561310 HROBAT Miha 1995 SLO  45.18  1:34.07  2:19.25  +5.96  51.42
 43  57  6291029 BATTILANI Henri 1994 ITA  48.36  1:31.25  2:19.61  +6.32  54.53
 44  51  561254 ZERAK Misel 1992 SLO  46.58  1:33.27  2:19.85  +6.56  56.60
 45  63  430472 KLUSAK Michal 1990 POL  48.32  1:31.64  2:19.96  +6.67  57.55
 46  61  20324 OLIVERAS Marc 1991 AND  48.37  1:31.66  2:20.03  +6.74  58.15
 47  46  511808 SCHMED Fernando 1991 SUI  48.45  1:31.66  2:20.11  +6.82  58.84
 48  26  180570 ROMAR Andreas 1989 FIN  49.71  1:31.38  2:21.09  +7.80  67.30
 49  66  151215 FOREJTEK Filip 1997 CZE  47.90  1:33.57  2:21.47  +8.18  70.58
 50  58  110324 VON APPEN Henrik 1994 CHI  48.64  1:33.25  2:21.89  +8.60  74.20
 51  64  370031 ALESSANDRIA Arnaud 1993 MON  50.24  1:31.70  2:21.94  +8.65  74.63
Disqualified 1st run
 30  561255 CATER Martin 1992 SLO
Did not start 2nd run
 28  561216 KLINE Bostjan 1991 SLO
Did not start 1st run
 68  102263 GUAY Erik 1981 CAN
 67  202196 BRANDNER Klaus 1990 GER
 65  930024 MAPLE Wiley 1990 USA
 56  53933 SCHWEIGER Patrick 1990 AUT
 37  533866 NYMAN Steven 1982 USA
 34  511383 FEUZ Beat 1987 SUI
 31  50742 REICHELT Hannes 1980 AUT
Did not finish 2nd run
 60  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK
Did not finish 1st run
 62  54005 STRIEDINGER Otmar 1991 AUT
 42  6290985 BUZZI Emanuele 1994 ITA
 40  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA
 39  294904 PANGRAZZI Paolo 1988 ITA
 36  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic 1991 AUT
 32  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS
 11  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK