Great conditions were reunited today for the first race and Giant Slalom of the alpine skiing season. Not less than 90 athletes took the start on the Rettenbach glacier to chase a place in the top 30, synonymous of second run. Spectators came in droves to assist to the kick-off race of the winter season.
Alexis Pinturault started his season with a majestic run. The French racer skied a full upper part of the track, shredding the wall and was as close as possible to the gates. High on his paths, he generated speed that he kept on the flat section thanks to his many snow touching qualities.
In second position was Marcel Hirscher. The GS crystal globe holder kept a perfect line from the start to the last gates. He stayed very academic, finding an essential fluidity on the Rettenbach. The Austrian stood at 0.17 seconds of Pinturault.
Justin Murisier landed on the provisional podium with a bang. The Swiss skier showed a great agressiveness on the middle part of the slope, the wall. Murisier stayed tonic and could challenge his opponents, eager to start well his season.
German racers found the great combination to place themselves as outsiders in the first run. Stefan Luitz and Felix Neureuther finished at the 4th and 5th provisonal places. They both were agressive on the decisive parts of the track but stayed smooth on the plane section, keeping as much speed as possible. They will try to climb on the podium on the second run.
Justin Murisier tried as much as possible to defend his provional third place. The Swiss skier stayed clean but was a bit less agressive than on his first run. Murisier eventually finished in 7th, which already is a great result to launch new goals.
In third place of the first GS of the winter was Felix Neureuther. The Slalom specialist seemed strong from the start to the bottom. While he may not have been very fluid on his first run, he stayed agressive throughout and gave a full commitment.
Marcel Hirscher won the second best chrono. Despite a huge fault on the top of the wall, Hirscher gained some time before the flat section. He finally crossed the line 0.67 seconds ahead of Neureuther.
Alexis Pinturault set the bar high and sent a strong message to his fellow professional alpine skiers. The French racer barely made any errors, skiing wonderful in the top and middle sections with aggressiveness while being extremely smooth on the last flat section. He finished this Giant Slalom 0.70 seconds ahead of Marcel Hirscher, having the best times of both two runs. He appeared on the finish area with determined eyes, making it clear about his goals of the season.
Alexis Pinturault wins the opening GS of the season in Sölden 0.70 seconds ahead of Marcel Hirscher and 1.37 seconds ahead of Felix Neureuther.
The Men's World Cup continues on November 13th in Levi (FIN) with a Slalom.