Perfect conditions were reunited this Saturday to end the Men's Giant Slalom season. This last Giant Slalom was kind of tricky and the skiers had to watch out blind gates on both runs. The racers had to be precise but not to take too many risks.
Mathieu Faivre had been stratospheric this morning in St-Moritz. The young Frenchman skied a huge run to claim the first provisional place. He signed a clean, smooth and precise run with great runs. He finally wrapped the first round in 1:07.89 minutes.
In second place was Alexis Pinturault. As with Faivre, Pinturault skied carefully on the tricky slope of the Swiss Station. He stayed aggressive enough to finish at only 0.20 seconds of his teammate and friend.
Florian Eisath finished 3rd of the first run at 0.47 seconds of Faivre. This is a brilliant performance since the skier started with the 15th bib. The Italian skied the same way as the two Frenchmen at the top of the casement. The key on this first round was to precise and aggressive but not too much to stay smooth enough.
In 4th place was Thomas Fanara, which makes it three Frenchmen in the top provisional fourth place. This illustrates well what Tina Maze said about their Team to the television just before the race: "They have a really strong team. Once you have a leader it's easy to take everybody else behind you."
The second run looked like a firework for the French Team. Thomas Fanara skied a huge and amazing run to claim the victory. After 11th podium in the World Cup, the man from Praz-sur-Arly finally touches the grail. He stayed focused all track long, being cautious and aggressive enough to cross the finish line with a huge margin on the first provisional skier. After the race, Thomas Fanara stated: "To share this with my teammates makes it that much more special for. I want to enjoy this moment with the entire French team. So many other racers came up and congratulated me and I could see in their eyes they were sincerely happy that I won today and that means a lot to me."
Alexis Pinturault finishes second, at only 0.02 seconds of Fanara. He skied close to Fanara's time all track long but couldn't take the lead reaching the finish area. However, the young man was joyful, having a big smile drew on his face, he stated "I'm really so happy. After a difficult season start, it ends in a firework."
In third place was Mathieu Faivre. The Frenchman challenged Fanara's time from the top to the bottom, but made a slight error on the bottom section, which cost him the victory. As with Pinturault, Faivre was overwhelmed, screaming loud when he understood two of his friends were sharing the podium with him. This was the first time he closed the starting gate of a second run, as he stated "To close the starting gate was a new thing for me. I wasn't stressed. I didn't have to think too much. I gave everything. I know where I lose the hundredths, on the bottom. I'm very happy for Thomas who wins his first World Cup".
This is the first French clean sweep in a Giant Slalom since Méribel in 1968 with Killy, Mauduit and Perillat. The third all French podium in the Alpine Skiing history.
Thomas Fanara wins the last Giant Slalom of the season 0.02 seconds ahead of Alexis Pinturault and 0.14 seconds ahead of Mathieu Faivre.
Marcel Hirscher wins the 2015/16 Giant Slalom Crystal Globe. The Austrian, who finished 5th today, already had the Giant Slalom overall classement wrapped up before starting the race this morning. At the end of competition, he stated: "It was not the easiest season for me to earn the giant slalom globe. The French team, especially Pinturault is getting better and better and it won't be easy in the future to beat them. It definitely wasn't easy this season already."
The Men's 2015/16 Alpine Skiing World Cup ends tomorrow in St-Moritz with a Slalom.