Pinturault 'proud' after second giant slalom win at Adelboden

·2-min read
Pinturault celebrates

France's Alexis Pinturault brushed aside his rivals to claim his second World Cup giant slalom victory in the space of 24 hours at Adelboden on Saturday.

He replicated his dominance on Friday at the Swiss resort to register his 33rd win on the circuit, finishing a gaping 1.26sec clear of Croatia's Filip Zubcic who took the runner-up position for the second day running.

In third came local Swiss hope Loic Meillard at 1.65sec.

US skier Tommy Ford was taken to hospital by helicopter after a heavy crash.

On Saturday evening, the US team tweeted: "(Ford's) head and neck injuries are minor and resolving nicely. He has a knee injury that is undergoing further evaluation."

Pinturault, the two-time Olympic bronze medallist in the discipline, extended his lead in the overall standings to 115 points from the reigning champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who finished fifth on Saturday.

The Frenchman is 40 points ahead of Swiss skier Marco Odermatt in the discipline standings.

"The fight will be intense until the end," said Pinturault. "I don't mind. The other athletes are also very strong."

Unusually two consecutive giant slaloms were run on the course as the coronavirus pandemic forced changes to the normal schedule.

"If we have to pick out a giant, this is it. All the slopes are good, but in Adelboden there is something special," said Pinturault.

"I'm not sure that there will be two giants again in Adelboden. So it's part of our history now, the history of alpine skiing, and I'm quite proud of my performance over the two days."

The 31-year-old Ford hit a gate in the steep final part of the course, landing on his head, knocking over a course worker and coming to rest tens of metres down the slope.

Medical officers were quickly on the scene with the skier from Oregon helicoptered off the slope 20 minutes later.

When the first run resumed half an hour later Meillard set the fastest time ahead of eventual winner Pinturault.

It was the third giant slalom victory for Pinturault in Adelboden, his first coming four years ago.

It was also his third giant slalom win in a row after he picked up where he left off before the holiday break after also dominating in Alta Badia.

He will be angling to make it a clean sweep in Switzerland in Sunday's slalom.