Pinturault opens season with commanding win

HEAD World Cup Rebel Alexis Pinturault takes win in Soelden. He took a slender lead in the first run and then extended it on the second run. Ted Ligety fights his way back up to fifth from 14th after first run.

OCTOBER 23RD, 2016

In one of the most exciting World Cup races in years, HEAD World Cup Rebel Alexis Pinturault won the opening race of the season. A fraction ahead of Marcel Hirscher after the first run with Justin Murisier two-tenths back, the full 30 that qualified for the second run were separated by just over two-seconds from the first run. Pinturault came into his own on the second run to grab the win with Hirscher taking second and Felix Neureuther.

“At the beginning of the season you never know where you are,” Pinturault explained after the race looking back at the win. “You never know if you ski fast or not.” He later added “When you start a new season, everything you have done before is over, you just have to start something new and keep going.”

Pinturault added when asked if his race had gone to plan: “One thing for sure in skiing, is that there is no strategy, you just have to push and push even harder for the second run.” Pinturault’s second run was on the limit but his exceptional technique helped extend his first run lead, pushing it out to seven-tenths of a second.

Pinturault produced two exceptional runs that were right on the limit as he took the win. Ted Ligety came into the race, meanwhile, still not sure if he could put two runs together yet placed 14th after the first run and then produced a classic Ligety second run fightback that saw him take the lead and then finish 5th overall: “My knee feels good but I just do not have the confidence to put the high intensity into every run,” he explained.

Ligety felt that he had “brought a lot more intensity to it and skied a lot better. I got a little lucky with the light too, that definitely helped. I am more were I want to be, it was a decent first start. I am luke warm happy about it to be honest.”
Mathieu Faivre was one of six HEAD World Cup Rebels in the top sixteen finishers taking ninth place. After the race he explained “It is the first race of the season and this is a big one for me. I cannot say that I am unhappy but I would have liked to done better.”

While Andre Myhrer dropped from fourth to eleventh, he was still happy with the outcome. Two seasons ago he had almost stopped training Giant Slalom so to finish 11th was a good outcome he felt.

 

Results

Men’s Giant Slalom from Soelden
1. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) HEAD
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
3. Felix Neureuther (GER)
5. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
9. Mathieu Faivre (FRA) HEAD
11. Andre Myhrer (SWE) HEAD
15. Matts Olsson (SWE) HEAD
16. Gino Caveziel (SUI) HEAD

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