L Alpine skiing

The podium from left to right: Joan Verdu, Loic Meillard and Thomas Tumler. © APA/afp / JOE KLAMAR

Odermatt makes a mistake: The perfect giant slalom season is over

With a record in mind, Marco Odermatt made a mistake on Saturday afternoon at the World Cup final in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria), which meant that for the first time this season the Swiss was not at the top of the giant slalom podium.

On Saturday, Marco Odermatt not only competed against his competitors on the slopes in the last giant slalom of the season, but also competed against one of the great legends of skiing: Ingemar Stenmark. After winning ten out of ten giant slalom races in the 1978/79 season, the 26-year-old exceptional artist wanted to equal this 45-year-old record. But things turned out completely differently, because the Swiss showed nerves while in the lead and knocked himself out of the race. Loic Meillard benefited from this, celebrating his 4th World Cup victory.

At least one thing the competition can take away from the giant slalom final. Although Odermatt had won all of the first nine races in this discipline this season, the Swiss showed on Saturday that he too is only flesh and blood. The 26-year-old was on the verge of making another entry into the history books and confidently led the race. However, an inside ski error in the second run completely threw the overall World Cup winner off balance and he missed the next gate.

Marco Odermatt shows nerves on Saturday. © APA / EXPA/JOHANN GRODER

The tenth victory in the tenth giant slalom of the season came to nothing, but the Swiss still had a smile on his face. Probably also because he already has the crystal balls in the overall World Cup and the giant slalom in his pocket and can also grab the discipline ratings in the Super-G and the downhill next weekend.

Meillard (right) and Verdu (left) congratulate each other at the finish. © APA/afp / JOE KLAMAR

Ironically, a Swiss man was still at the top. Loic Meillard benefited from his compatriot's unfortunate failure and won the last giant slalom of the season ahead of Joan Verdu (+0,71) from Andorra, who was on the podium for the second time this season, and Thomas Tumler (+0,79), who also comes from Switzerland.

Vinatzer and Co. outside the top 10

Alex Vinatzer was unable to repeat his good performance from Aspen (5th and 6th place) at the World Cup final in Austria. The Wolkensteiner couldn't cope with the difficult conditions all day and was overtaken by teammate Giovanni Borsotti (18th place/+2,35) in the second round. He finished in 19th place, 2,65 seconds behind. The best Azzurro was Luca De Aliprandini in 14th place (+1,71). Vinatzer will have his next chance for a top result on Sunday in the slalom (10.30 a.m.).

The men's giant slalom

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