By The Associated Press on December 18, 2023.
LA VILLA, Italy (AP) – Swiss skier Marco Odermatt established a big lead in the opening run of the Alta Badia giant slalom on Monday as the Olympic and world champion looks to duplicate his win from a day earlier on the same course.
Seeking a sixth consecutive victory in the discipline, Odermatt took advantage of being the first starter to produce a powerful but clean run down the steep and icy Gran Risa piste.
Odermatt leads Filip Zubcic by 0.87 seconds and Marco Schwarz by 0.95.
“Everything worked well,” Odermatt said. “The material fits perfectly on that hill and the snow. I have enough grip but still able to play around and that’s what you need on this slope.”
Zan Kranjec was the only other skier within a second of Odermatt’s time, 0.96 back in fourth.
Alexis Pinturault was a massive 1.49 back in fifth.
Zubcic, who finished second to Odermatt a day earlier, was only 0.06 behind Odermatt at the second checkpoint but then made a costly mistake.
Austrian skier Stefan Brennsteiner lost control and slid backwards into the safety nets but appeared to avoid serious injury.
Joan Verdu, who recently became the first Andorran skier on a World Cup podium, also had trouble and went out midway down.
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