Alexis Pinturault is World Champion at the home World Championships
A lifelong dream comes true for Alexis Pinturault. The French athlete became World Champion in the Combined event at the World Championships in his hometown of Courchevel on Tuesday. Wendy Holdener took Silver in the Combined event the day before.
"I am very pleased. Especially for Alexis Pinturault's two service men, Michael Gmeiner and Chris Krause, this is so well deserved. The lads have had a tough season but never lost sight of their goal," emphasised HEAD Racing Director Rainer Salzgeber. "It's awesome becoming World Champion in the first race of the World Championships in your hometown. The women's team skied to the limit. Wendy Holdener raced a very solid Super-G, and considering her start number in the Slalom she skied a superb race. That certainly brings a certain level of confidence for the rest of the World Championships, if you already have a medal in the bag. I am happy that she managed that. Overall, those were two really exciting races."
"It's a sensational day for me"
Alexis Pinturault topped his already impressive career with a World Championship victory in his home country. The 31-year-old went into the Slalom as the winner of the Super-G with start number one. Clocking the third fastest Slalom time secured his placed on top of the podium. "This is a perfect day for me. It was a great performance in the Super-G and a good performance in the Slalom. The Slalom was very challenging with so many gates. But everything went well," said the new World Champion happily. "It's awesome, a sensational day for me, especially after the first part of this winter. Now I’ve won the Gold medal in the village where I live. These will always be great memories."
Second World Championship Gold in the Combined event
For Alexis Pinturault it was his second World Championship Gold in the Combined, following his victory in Aare in 2019. in 2021, he won the Silver medal in this discipline at the World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo. At the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, it was also the Silver medal in the Combined event. In the World Cup, the French athlete has won the Combined event six times. With the fastest time in the Slalom, Atle Lie McGrath from Norway raced to fifth place. Another four HEAD Worldcup Rebels placed among the top 13: Tobias Kastlunger from Italy finished seventh, Erik Arvidsson from the USA ninth, Ryan Cochran-Siegle from the USA tenth and Simon Jocher from Germany 13th.
"I love speed and skill"
Wendy Holdener was in 15th place after the Super-G. "I felt good, it was really fun. I'm happy with my run," said the Swiss athlete after her Super-G run. The fastest time in the Slalom accelerated the 29-year-old into second place overall. "I knew I had to focus on myself. At the finish line I still didn't know if it was enough or not. But then it was great to see the number two displayed in the finish. I have loved the Combined event since the Junior World Championships. I love speed and skill. I'm proud of what I accomplished today."
Tenth medal at a major event
For Wendy Holdener it was the tenth medal at a major event, the fifth in the Combined. She was twice World Champion in the Combined event with victories in 2017 in St. Moritz and in 2019 in Aare, while in the Olympics Combined she won Bronze in 2018 in Pyeongchang, and Silver in 2022 in Beijing. Five more HEAD athletes finished in the top ten, with Franziska Gritsch from Austria in fifth place, Laura Gauche from France seventh, Emma Aicher from Germany eighth, Elena Curtoni from Italy ninth and Marie-Michele Gagnon from Canada tenth. Cande Moreno from Andorra finished in 18th place.