ALTA BADIA, Italy (AP) — Alexis Pinturault led the classic men’s World Cup giant slalom on the Gran Risa course after the opening run Sunday.
The Frenchman mastered the steep and technically demanding course in the Italian Alps to lead Filip Zubcic of Croatia by 0.26 seconds.
Marco Odermatt, who won the previous GS two weeks ago to become the first Swiss winner in the discipline in nearly 10 years, was third and had four tenths to make up in the second run.
Pinturault gathered 14 of his 30 career World Cup wins in GS but is yet to reach the podium this season.
The three races so far had three different winners — Lucas Braathen, Zubcic, and Odermatt. The Norwegian was 0.51 back in fourth.
“It was a good run, no big mistakes, good rhythm. And we have worked a lot on my material,” Pinturault said.
The Frenchman said he benefited from the course conditions, with grippy snow on an icy surface.
A win Sunday would likely see the Frenchman return to the top of the overall standings.
Pinturault lost his lead in the rankings to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde after the Norwegian posted back-to-back wins in speed races in nearby Val Gardena on Friday and Saturday.
Kilde had 1.03 seconds to make up on Pinturault in the second leg. His Norwagian teammate and World Cup GS champion, Henrik Kristoffersen, was 0.81 off the lead.
Pinturault trailed Kilde by 54 points last season, when the remaining six races were canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
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