Pinturault wins giant slalom at Alta Badia to take overall lead

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France's Alexis Pinturault won the giant slalom in Alta Badia on Sunday to reclaim the overall lead in the men's World Cup.

Pinturault, who won Olympic bronze in the event at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, was 0.07sec faster than Norway's Atle Lie McGrath with Swiss Justin Murisier third at 0.24sec.

"It's a race I had never won, I was keen to bring it home," said Pinturault after equalling Alberto Tomba's tally of 15 giant slalom victories, with the Italian ski legend watching on at the Gran Risa slope.

"Alta Badia is part of history, it's a track where we have been racing for years, very technical, among the most beautiful giants of the season.

"This year I was always around the podium but still not able to be (number) one. We changed a few things and it worked well."

The French skier was fastest in the first run in the Italian Dolomites and held off 20-year-old US-born skier McGrath, who took a first podium place, as did 28-year-old Murisier.

"(McGrath) had a really unbelievable race today, the first run already unbelievable, the second run he pushed even harder," said Pinturault, who had the 15th-fastest time in the second run.

"I saw it was not easy to hold the lead, I just tried to put the hammer down," added the 29-year-old, who claimed his 31st World Cup success.

Pinturault leads reigning champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde in the overall standings after the Norwegian finished sixth on Sunday, 0.76sec off the pace.

Pinturault, with 376 points, reclaims the lead with a one-point advantage over Kilde, who had won the Super-G and downhill races at Val Gardena the previous two days.

"It's good, but a lot of things can happen this year," said Pinturault.

"The situation we are living in is really unusual, so the most important thing is to bring some victories home, even it will not be easy like today with these young guys."

Swiss Marco Odermatt, third overall on 340 points, finished fourth, having finished on the podium in the first three giant slaloms of the season.

ea/jc