For the first time in over 30 years the French won a World Cup race on French soil. In Val d’Isere on Sunday the French team nearly swept the podium when Matheiu Faivre won his first ever World Cup event.Austria’s Marcel Hirscher finished second and Alexis Pinturault rounded out the podium for France.
The French team appears to be the best single team in the Giant Slalom right now. The Americans and the Austrians seem to be struggling while the French are dominating in the discipline. The French skiers finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th in the event.
After the first run Pinturault seemed to be on the outside looking in, once again it was challenging light conditions at Val d’Isere and most of the field struggled with that. Pinturault was over a second behind first run leader Marcel Hirscher, but laid down an incredible second run.
Most of the racers seemed to be all over the place and out of control. Pinturault stayed smooth the whole run and took a very direct line that sent him into the lead. It was nearly a perfect run and it seemed he would win. He held off all of his French teamates except one, Matheiu Faivre.
Most other racers tried not to lose their lead they established over Pinturault after the first run, but Faivre gained time on his teamate. He came to the bottom and the French fans erupted. They were lighting flares and waving French flags, all Faivre had to do was hope that Hirscher would not beat his time.
As I said about Hirscher before, he can win when he needs to. Hirscher started out with a lead and was gaining until he had a few bobbles and came up more than half a second behind Faivre.
The French team will be a team to contend with this year, and Alexis Pinturault can easily contend for the Overall against Hirscher if he continues to ski the way he did Sunday.
As the standings are now, Hirscher has an 80 point lead over Jansrud who has a 76 point lead over Pinturault. It is still early in the season but it is shaping up to be an exciting World Cup.