Alexis Pinturault is all set for the World Cup Finals with two podium finishes in the Giant Slalom. The French athlete raced to second place in Kranjska Gora on Saturday and third place on Sunday. The HEAD Worldcup Rebels celebrated three podium finishes at the women's events in Aare: Sara Hector came third in the Giant Slalom on Friday, Wendy Holdener was second in the Slalom on Saturday and Anna Swenn-Larsson finished third.
"The two podiums by Alexis Pinturault are very pleasing. And he could have won both races," emphasises HEAD Racing Director Rainer Salzgeber. From the past two seasons, this was certainly his best weekend. He is now on the right track and things are looking good. We had already made changes to the equipment before the World Championship. Since then, he has been skiing very consistently. Everything is possible for him at the Finals in Andorra. Three podiums in the women's events are also very good. Last year, Sara Hector was injured during the Giant Slalom in Aare, just missing the Crystal Globe. Seeing her back on the podium here now is really great. The two podium finishes by Wendy Holdener and Anna Swenn-Larsson were also cool. Mikaela Shiffrin is very dominant at the moment and both runs in the Slalom have to be brilliant if you are going to beat her. On Wendy's second run on Saturday, she showed that she can compete at that level."
Alexis Pinturault just misses victory
On Saturday, Alexis Pinturault just missed his first win of the season in the Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora. The 31-year-old was just 23 hundredths of a second behind the winner, Marco Odermatt. It was the first World Cup podium in Giant Slalom for the French athlete this season. After the first run, Pinturault was in fifth place. With the second-fastest time on the second run, he moved up to second place overall. "I had a good second run where I tried to stay right on line and invest as much risk as possible. Even though it wasn't perfect, I still feel much better again in the Giant Slalom. Being back on the podium is always good for your confidence," says Alexis Pinturault. On Sunday, the French athlete followed that up with third place in the second Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora. "My goal is to stay on the podium and find my way back to my best form. That's quite okay at the moment, and I'm hoping to put in a good performance in the Finals."
Sara Hector finished third at her home race
At the women's events in Aare, the weekend started with a podium finish by Sara Hector in the Giant Slalom on Friday. The Swedish athlete raced to third place at her home race. With the second-fastest time on run two, the 30-year-old athlete jumped up three slots from sixth place. This was Sara Hector's fourth podium finish in the Giant Slalom this season. With Wendy Holdener from Switzerland in twelfth place, Estelle Alphand from Sweden 13th and Ragnhild Mowinckel from Norway, three more HEAD athletes finished among the top 15.
17-year-old Cornelia Öhlund skied the fastest run
On Saturday there was also reason for the Swedish ski team to celebrate in Aare. Anna Swenn-Larsson bagged third place at her home event in the Slalom with her fourth podium of the season. Wendy Holdener finished just ahead of her in second place, seeing the Swiss athlete podium in the Slalom for a fifth time this season. Lena Dürr from Germany finished sixth. Cornelia Öhlund was delighted with tenth place, because the Swedish athlete started the race with bib number 36, and reached 20th place on the first run. Clocking the fastest run time on the second run, the 17-year-old managed to climb up to tenth place, her best World Cup result so far. Emma Aicher form Germany finished eleventh, Sara Hector was 13th.