L Alpine skiing

Marco Odermatt can set a record on Saturday. © APA/afp / JOE KLAMAR

After the first run: Odermatt in Stenmark's footsteps

Even at the World Cup final in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria), the giant slalom specialists found no remedy against Marco Odermatt. Alex Vinatzer suffered from the difficult conditions.

While individual rain showers caused concern for the organizers on Friday and Saturday night, the sun unexpectedly appeared just in time for the start of the World Cup final in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria). The last time this season the best giant slalomists raced down such a soft and wet slope, while the athletes with higher numbers still had to contend with difficult visibility as the sun's rays kept timidly hiding behind the clouds. As usual this season, Marco Odermatt was the fastest.

After Odermatt won every giant slalom (9) this season, the question of the crystal ball in this discipline had long been resolved. Nevertheless, the Swiss had the chance of a sensation on Saturday, because with a victory the 26-year-old could equal the 45-year-old record of Ingemar Stenmark, who won ten out of ten races in this discipline in the 1978/79 season.

Loic Meillard is Odermatt's first pursuer. © APA/afp / JOE KLAMAR

The Swiss took the first step towards this coup shortly after 9.00 a.m. (CEST) when, as usual, he conjured up the best time in the Salzburg snow with start number two. Completely unfazed by the pressure, he goes into the second run (12 o'clock) in first position, followed by compatriot Loic Meillard (+0,40 seconds) and Alexander Steen Olsen (+1,39) from Norway.

Vinatzer and Co. follow behind

Alex Vinatzer drove as usual with his risky driving style, but was slowed down by the decreasing slope and visibility conditions. He crossed the finish line +4,42 seconds behind Odermatt (19th place). Luca De Aliprandini (+2,64) did a little better and started the second round in 12th place. Filippo Della Vite was eliminated, while Giovanni Borsotti (+4,48) ended up in 20th place.

Giant slalom, 1st round

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