After an admittedly lackluster start to his season, Frenchman Alexis Pinturault has undoubtedly found his form as of late, taking his third giant slalom in a row on Sunday in Hinterstoder, Austria, dominating the field with a total time of 2:43.88 seconds. Austrian Marcel Hirscher was a distant second, 1.14 seconds back, and Norwegian Henrik Kristofersen rounded out the podium in third, 1.26 seconds behind the blistering pace set by Pinturault.

Heavily overcast skies and slightly softer snow conditions compared to the last two days of racing was on tap on Sunday, and at first, it looked like Hirscher was finally going to give Pinturault a run for his money in the second run. Alas, once again, undaunted by the challenge laid down in front of him, the French star picked apart the second run set with ease and built upon his advantage at each interval until crossing the finish by a massive winning margin.

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“It was a good run and a strong run,” Pinturault said. “Second run was quite tough on the top, it was really bumpy, the snow was not the same as two days ago but I tried to push really hard and it seems to be one of the most perfect races for me.”

“There [are] still three GS races so anything can happen, but it is also going to be difficult for us because Marcel competes in slalom and GS and I compete in slalom and GS,” he added about the chase for the giant slalom discipline globe. “It’s going to be tough like this weekend. Today, I think we were really tired, even when we stood on the podium we were tired.”

Although bested by Pinturault for the second GS in a row, Hirscher still holds a 131-point advantage over Pinturault in the discipline standings and was able to gain another 20 points on Kristoffersen in the overall standings. It’s been a rather peculiar chase for the large crystal globe this season for Hirscher, as not only have injuries taken out some of his closest rivals, but Hirscher himself has had to deal with surging young talents, wayward drones, pilfered equipment, foggy goggles, and all manner of shenanigans not typical of a World Cup season.

“It’s crazy, so many things are going forward in alpine ski racing and if you are not working each day on your performance, you will lose on your confidence,” Hirscher explained. “In this season, so many weird things have happened already. A camera drone nearly hit me, so that was as well a really shocking moment, stolen skis was next, foggy goggles in Schladming. … It is not easy, but I have no idea what to change and I am always going to church, praying each day, I don’t know!”

Although Kristoffersen hasn’t enjoyed the same success in GS this season as he has in slalom, the young Norwegian should never be counted out on any GS hill in the world and looks forward to the next challenge in Slovenia. Although he has been nearly unstoppable in slalom, he admits that Hirscher just might be too strong to overtake in the overall standings.

“Two hundred and eighty points behind Marcel is a lot,” said Kristoffersen. “I have only five races left, and Marcel is unbelievably strong, even in super G. I think there is no chance. … But I don’t focus on the overall, I just focus on the next race. I look forward to Kranjska Gora. There is no long flat there, the course is steeper and I think it suits my skiing better. I’m ready and I’ll try to win races there.”

Unfortunately for the Americans, it was another tough day at the office as Tim Jitloff was the only finisher inside the top 30 in 23rd place, 4.01 seconds off of Pinturault. The American men haven’t quite found their groove in GS this season, but two more chances remain next weekend in Slovenia.

“Today, I knew I wanted to come out and put together a solid day,” explained a disappointed Jitloff. “The first run was a step in the right direction for that and then the second run, I think from the difficulties of the last two weeks and the effort that has gone into trying to get things right, I just felt very tired. This is an extremely long and turny course, soft snow, and I just didn’t have the energy in that second run and unfortunately was quite slow. I have two more races in Kranjska Gora. I’m going to take a rest here for a few days and before I go there we are going to try a few new new things just to try and get the energy back into it and hopefully I can reel this back in before the end of the season.”

The men’s tour now heads to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for two GS races and a slalom March 4-6.


The Scoop
By Hank McKee

  1. Pinturault, Head/Head/Head
  2. Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Kristoffersen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  4. Faivre, Head/Head/Head
  5. Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
  6. Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
  7. Janka, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  8. Eisath, Blizzard/Tecnica/Marker
  9. Luitz, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
  10. Tonetti, Voelkl/Tecnica/Marker
  • Men’s World Cup giant slalom, Hinterstoder, Austria, Feb. 28, 2016. … It is the 35th of 45 races on the men’s schedule and the eighth of 11 scheduled GSs. … It is the 16th World Cup race at Hinterstoder and the third of three this season.
  • It is the 14th career World Cup win for Alexis Pinurault. … And his third straight GS win. … It is his fifth win of the season. … The winning margin is 1.14 seconds. … The top three are within two seconds.
  • It is the 87th career World Cup podium for Marcel Hirscher. … His 15th of the season in 19 completed races.
  • It is the 23rd career World Cup podium for Henrik Kristoffersen. … His tenth of the season.
  • It is the fifth scoring finish of the season for Tim Jitloff.
  • Hirscher maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 1365-1082 over Kristoffersen. … Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race) holds third with 916pts.
  • Hirscher lead the GS standings 561-430 over Pinturault. … Kristoffersen is third with 351pts.
  • Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 4549-4341 over France. … Norway is third with 3915pts. … The U.S. is seventh at 1736 and Canada tenth at 524.

Official Results

RankBibNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS Points
 1 3PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 1:20.56 1:23.32 2:43.88 0.00
 2 7HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 1:21.12 1:23.90 2:45.02 +1.14 6.82
 3 4KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik1994NOR 1:21.11 1:24.03 2:45.14 +1.26 7.53
 4 14FAIVRE Mathieu1992FRA 1:22.07 1:23.92 2:45.99 +2.11 12.62
 5 5FANARA Thomas1981FRA 1:21.38 1:24.76 2:46.14 +2.26 13.51
 6 6NEUREUTHER Felix1984GER 1:21.03 1:25.19 2:46.22 +2.34 13.99
 7 16JANKA Carlo1986SUI 1:22.61 1:23.70 2:46.31 +2.43 14.53
 8 12EISATH Florian1984ITA 1:22.48 1:23.89 2:46.37 +2.49 14.89
 9 8LUITZ Stefan1992GER 1:21.33 1:25.25 2:46.58 +2.70 16.15
 10 25TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA 1:22.78 1:23.87 2:46.65 +2.77 16.56
 11 13SCHOERGHOFER Philipp1983AUT 1:22.38 1:24.43 2:46.81 +2.93 17.52
 12 9HAUGEN Leif Kristian1987NOR 1:23.17 1:23.87 2:47.04 +3.16 18.90
 13 1MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA 1:21.89 1:25.38 2:47.27 +3.39 20.27
 14 10SANDELL Marcus1987FIN 1:22.50 1:24.78 2:47.28 +3.40 20.33
 15 24DE ALIPRANDINI Luca1990ITA 1:23.25 1:24.12 2:47.37 +3.49 20.87
 16 32KILDE Aleksander Aamodt1992NOR 1:23.94 1:23.46 2:47.40 +3.52 21.05
 17 19MYHRER Andre1983SWE 1:22.97 1:24.46 2:47.43 +3.55 21.23
 18 23ZUBCIC Filip1993CRO 1:23.25 1:24.20 2:47.45 +3.57 21.35
 19 26FELLER Manuel1992AUT 1:23.79 1:23.76 2:47.55 +3.67 21.95
 20 27LEITINGER Roland1991AUT 1:23.12 1:24.62 2:47.74 +3.86 23.08
 21 15DOPFER Fritz1987GER 1:22.45 1:25.30 2:47.75 +3.87 23.14
 22 22BLARDONE Massimiliano1979ITA 1:22.99 1:24.86 2:47.85 +3.97 23.74
 23 11JITLOFF Tim1985USA 1:22.46 1:25.43 2:47.89 +4.01 23.98
 24 18CAVIEZEL Gino1992SUI 1:22.96 1:25.01 2:47.97 +4.09 24.46
 25 37ZAMPA Adam1990SVK 1:23.79 1:24.38 2:48.17 +4.29 25.65
 26 30MISSILLIER Steve1984FRA 1:23.76 1:24.52 2:48.28 +4.40 26.31
 27 35MEILLARD Loic1996SUI 1:23.66 1:24.90 2:48.56 +4.68 27.99
 28 29KRANJEC Zan1992SLO 1:23.57 1:25.12 2:48.69 +4.81 28.76
 29 17JANSRUD Kjetil1985NOR 1:23.65 1:25.29 2:48.94 +5.06 30.26
Did not start 1st run
 45TUMLER Thomas1989SUI
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 75CHRAPEK Adam1993POL
 73SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier1980ARG
 71KOSI Klemen1991SLO
 67JENAL Sandro1992SUI
 65ENGEL Mark1991USA
 64BALLERIN Andrea1989ITA
 59DUPRATT Samuel1993USA
 54PHILP Trevor1992CAN
 53KRYZL Krystof1986CZE
 52NETELAND Bjoernar1991NOR
 51PATRICKSSON Axel William1992NOR
 50PIRINEN Eemeli1993FIN
 49BRENNSTEINER Stefan1991AUT
 48MAURBERGER Simon1995ITA
 47CHRISTIANSON Kieffer1992USA
 46STAUBITZER Benedikt1990GER
 44ZURBRIGGEN Elia1990SUI
 43ANDRIENKO Aleksander1990RUS
 42RICHARD Cyprien1979FRA
 41TORSTI Samu1991FIN
 40SCHWAIGER Dominik1991GER
 39WERRY Tyler1991CAN
 38RUBIE Brennan1991USA
 36COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan1992USA
 33PARIS Dominik1989ITA
 31KRIECHMAYR Vincent1991AUT
 20MURISIER Justin1992SUI
Did not finish 2nd run
 57HIRSCHBUEHL Christian1990AUT
Did not finish 1st run
 74ESTEVE Axel1994AND
 72KOTZMANN Adam1993CZE
 70BARWOOD Adam1992NZL
 69SALA Tommaso1995ITA
 68ZAMPA Andreas1993SVK
 66SARRAZIN Cyprien1994FRA
 63FEASEY Willis1992NZL
 62CHODOUNSKY David1984USA
 61SCHWARZ Marco1995AUT
 60ROENNGREN Mattias1993SWE
 58PLEISCH Manuel1990SUI
 56MEGARRY Morgan1993CAN
 55BROWN Phil1991CAN
 34FORD Tommy1989USA
 28NOESIG Christoph1985AUT
 21MOELGG Manfred1982ITA
 2NANI Roberto1988ITA