Alpine skiing World Cup leader Odermatt wins Alta Badia giant slalom
Published: Dec 21, 2022 12:03 AM
Switzerland's Marco Odermatt extended his alpine skiing World Cup lead after claiming victory in Monday's giant slalom at Alta Badia in Italy.

Reigning World Cup champion Odermatt won in the Italian Dolomites with a combined time of two minutes and 38.27 seconds, 0.20 seconds ahead of Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen and 0.92 seconds in front of Slovenia's Zan Kranjec.

The 25-year-old had set himself up for victory by building a 0.60-second cushion between him and Kristoffersen in the morning's blistering first run which allowed him to be only 21st fastest in the second run and still claim the win.

"This was probably the biggest fight ever, I was so tired already at the start and it didn't get better while racing," said giant slalom Olympic champion Odermatt after his fourth win of the season.

"It was a tight battle again but luckily it went for me this time."

Odermatt now leads Kristoffersen by 95 points in the giant slalom standings, with Kranjec a further 20 points behind in third, after his third win from four races in the discipline this season.

He now has 12 straight giant slalom podiums stretching back to the start of last season and has been on the podium after nine of this campaign's races across all disciplines.

The 25-year-old also increased his advantage on Kristoffersen's compatriot Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in the overall standings to 271 points, with the Norwegian downhill and super-G specialist not taking part in Monday's race.

Sunday's giant slalom winner Lucas Braathen trails Odermatt by 481 points in the hunt for the crystal ball after failing to finish his first run on Monday morning.

Odermatt's stranglehold on the World Cup came after a grueling schedule of skiing in the last five days, with Sunday's race at Alta Badia and downhills at Val Gardena on Thursday and Saturday.

"I think after being in Val Gardena then coming here to race on a very difficult course with a lot of turns... it's very very tough for the legs," said Odermatt.

The next men's race is the slalom at Madonna di Campiglio on Thursday evening, the last before Christmas which thankfully for his rivals will not feature Odermatt.