VAL d’ISÈRE, France (AP)Marco Odermatt let out a scream and pumped his right fist after finishing a men’s World Cup giant slalom Saturday.
The Swiss skier celebrated his third win of the season and seventh overall after dominating the race and winning it by almost six-tenths of a second.
Odermatt best handled challenging course conditions on the Face de Bellevarde following overnight snowfall as he defeated overall champion Alexis Pinturault by .59.
Austrian skier Manuel Feller finished 1.24 behind in third for his second career podium in the discipline.
“Amazing, I don’t know what to say. This is a really cool victory today,” said Odermatt, who had two podiums including a super-G win in Beaver Creek, Colorado, last week.
“Probably the worst preparation on a race I ever did and to manage to still ski like this, it’s a good mindset. Yeah, this is really cool,” he added.
Odermatt also triumphed in the season-opening giant slalom in Austria in October and became the first male skier to win the first two GS races in a season since Ted Ligety achieved the feat in 2013.
The Swiss skier leads the overall standings with 446 points, 136 ahead of Matthias Mayer and 217 ahead of Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who both sat out Saturday’s race.
Pinturault trails by 241 points in fourth.
Croatian skier Filip Zubcic, who was third after the opening run, skied out halfway through his second run, and GS world champion Mathieu Faivre was more than two seconds off the lead in eighth.
River Radamus posted the third-fastest time in the final run as the American improved from 23rd to 13th position, trailing Odermatt by 2.33 seconds.
Course workers moved up to 50 centimeters of fresh snow out of the race line in the early morning hours.
“We all knew that it would be very tough, that it would be a fight. I tried to have a clever run: a little bit aggressive and only pushing where possible,” Odermatt said after his first run.
Adrian Pertl, last season’s World Championships silver medalist in slalom, hooked a gate with his left ski in the first run. The Austrian ski federation said Pertl was taken to a hospital with a suspected knee injury.
The race weekend in the French Alps ends Sunday with a men’s slalom.
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