July 24th, 2024

Olympic and world champion Marco Odermatt wins back-to-back giant slaloms in Alta Badia

By The Associated Press on December 18, 2023.

LA VILLA, Italy (AP) – Olympic champion. World champion. And virtually unbeatable on the World Cup circuit.

When it comes to giant slalom, Marco Odermatt is completely dominant.

The Swiss skier won the Alta Badia giant slalom for the second time in two days on Monday and extended his winning streak in the discipline to six races.

Odermatt established a big lead in the opening run down the steep and icy Gran Risa course. Then he added to his advantage in the second run to finish a massive 1.05 seconds ahead of Marco Schwarz and 1.22 ahead of Zan Kranjec.

Toronto’s James Crawford was the top Canadian in 22nd place.

“Two amazing days,” Odermatt said. “It’s so nice to come here into the finish with another victory, in the Dolomites with the last sun of the day.”

It was Odermatt’s fourth victory in Alta Badia, where Marcel Hirscher holds the record of six victories – won consecutively from 2013-18; and his 27th win overall on the World Cup circuit. Alberto Tomba also won four times on the Gran Risa.

“It’s nice to be part of history,” Odermatt said.

Schwarz, who plans to enter every race across all disciplines this season, is second in both the GS and overall standings behind Odermatt. He trails by 92 points in the overall.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a good battle for the whole season,” Schwarz said.

It marked the fifth time that Kranjec finished third in Alta Badia.

Filip Zubcic was approaching Odermatt’s pace in the first leg before he made a costly mistake. Then the Croatian dropped from second to fourth in the second leg, 1.36 behind.

Combined world champion Alexis Pinturault finished fifth.

Austrian skier Stefan Brennsteiner lost control in the opening run 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 during the morning leg.

River Radamus was the top American finisher in 14th.

The men’s circuit resumes with a night slalom in Madonna Di Campiglio on Friday.

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More AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/skiing

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