VAL d’ISÈRE, France (AP)Olympic champion Marco Odermatt dominated on Saturday to win a World Cup giant slalom and consolidate his lead in the overall standings.
The Swiss skier posted the fastest times in both runs on the Face de Bellevarde course in Val d’Isère to finish 1.40 seconds ahead of Austria’s Manuel Feller. He had been 0.45 ahead of Feller after the opening run.
No one else could get within two seconds of Odermatt.
“He is just in a different league,” Feller said. “He’s so awesome, it’s so easy for him. He is just getting better and better.
“I’m not 100 per cent happy because 1.4 is just a big difference to first, but the result is awesome.”
An impressive second run saw Olympic silver medallist Žan Kranjec of Slovenia move up from 11th to third, 2.05 slower than Odermatt.
The 25-year-old Odermatt had a 0.45 second advantage over Feller after the opening run but again skied aggressively to increase his lead at every split and record a decisive victory.
“It was a big fight again, I gave it everything,” Odermatt said. “It’s probably one of my best races ever, so it’s a great victory here.
“I took the risk again (in the second run). The snow was so much better than in the first run. It allowed me to keep pushing.”
Odermatt won the GS title last season – and gold in that discipline in Beijing – as well as the overall crystal globe.
He has won seven of the last 10 World Cup GS races dating back to the beginning of last season.
Odermatt’s defence of his overall World Cup title has got off to a solid start. He has won three of the opening six races – including the only other GS of the season – and finished on the podium in the other three, which were won by Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Kilde trails Odermatt by 140 points and has opted out of the races in Val d’Isère. There is a slalom scheduled for Sunday.
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