French skier Alexis Pinturault was the weekend’s star turn in Kitzbuehel (AUT), showing great consistency over super-G and night slalom events to win the Hahnenkamm Combined event.
Pinturault had finished 18th in a tightly-contested super-G, just 0.69 seconds off winner Didier Defago, and improved on this in Sunday evening’s slalom run to post a winning time of 2:02.79. It was enough to edge him 0.44 seconds ahead of the USA’s Ted Ligety, who produced an equally impressive slalom to move from 31st to second in the weekend’s standings.
Marcel Hirscher (AUT) was another who managed to transform his fortunes in the second part of the combined challenge. The Austrian stood 56th after the super-G, but finished third overall place thanks to a fine slalom run.
Pinturault had faced an anxious wait to see whether his slalom had secured top spot. “It was big fight with Ted today,” he said. “We were so close after the super-G but after us there were some very strong guys still up and I had no choice but to wait and see if my run would be enough for a top placement.”
Defago’s super-G win earlier in the day had upset the form book. The veteran Swiss, still competing at 36, was gold medalist in the downhill at Vancouver 2010 but had not earned a super-G podium since 2008. He beat Bode Miller (USA) by just 0.05 seconds in what was a shortened race due to adverse weather – and gained his first victory since the Bormio downhill event in 2011.
Information on tickets for Sochi 2014 is available here: http://www.olympic.org/news/sochi-2014-olympic-winter-games-tickets/190291