ALPINE SKIING: Pinturault and Kristoffersen repeat Worlds wins in Bansko

Austria's Marcel Hirscher with yet another Crystal Globe

The men’s World Cup in Bansko (BUL) had a familiar look from the recent World Championships as both of the winners had earned gold medals in Are (SWE).

France’s Alexis Pinturault won the Combined and Henrik Kristoffersen took the Giant Slalom, while the planned Super-G race on Saturday was snowed out.

Pinturault was third in the Super-G in the first half of the Combined, when skied with sixth-fastest in the Slalom, which was enough to hold off the hard-charging Marcel Hirscher (AUT). The Austrian ace was just 20th in the Super-G, but zoomed through the Slalom with the fastest time of the day, but still ended up 0.68 of the Frenchman.

Pinturault won his 22nd World Cup race and eight in the Combined, and he took the seasonal Crystal Globe for the Combined, his third win in the discipline in the last four years.

In the Giant Slalom, Hirscher was looking for another win, but also to clinch the seasonal title in the discipline. He had the fastest first run in the field, but was not as smooth on the second run, an ended up with only the 12th-fastest second run and wound up second overall. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen won the race, with the second-best first run and fourth-best second run, edging Hirscher by 0.04!

However, Hirscher’s second-place finish wrapped up his victory in the seasonal race. With 620 points to 402 for Kristoffersen with two races left. It’s Hirscher’s sixth seasonal win in the Giant Slalom and he now has 19 overall and discipline wins, one short of the record of 20 held by American Lindsey Vonn. Hirscher can equal her with the overall World Cup title, in which he has a commanding 1,408-918 lead over Kristoffersen with nine races left.

In the women’s World Cup races in Crans-Montana (SUI), Italy’s Sofia Goggia won the Downhill for her first victory since the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, but there was plenty of confusion along the way.

Sweden’s Joana Haehlin ended up second for her first career World Cup medal, but the timing and scoreboard system malfunctioned and didn’t show the run time for several athletes.

Swiss Timing released a statement that noted that “The problem was due to connection issues between the infrastructure installed on the finish line and the timekeeping room. Consequently, the electronic timekeeping did not stop the finish time automatically for some of the competitors. …

“Despite the fact that the results were not displayed accurately in the finish area or on television, a manual backup timing system was used for the athletes that were affected as per FIS rules.”

The timing issues got fixed for Sunday’s Combined, won by Italy’s Federica Brignone, who also won the seasonal title as this was the only Combined held this season!

American Mikaela Shiffrin is taking a rest and said she will skip the speed races in Russia next week and return for the Giant Slalom and Slalom – where she leads in the World Cup standings – at Spindleruv Mlyn (CZE) on 8-9 March. Summaries:

FIS Alpine World Cup
Bansko (BUL) ~ 22-24 February 2019
(Full results here)

Men’s Combined: 1. Alexis Pinturault (FRA), 1:55.55 (3rd in Super-G + 6th in Slalom); 2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1:56.23 (20+1); 3. Stefan Hadalin (1:56.24 (8+6); 4. Riccardo Tonetti (ITA), 1:56.66 (5+11); 5. Trevor Philp (CAN), 1:56/70 (27+1). Also in the top 25: 13. Ted Ligety (USA), 1:57.99 (28+9); … 17. Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA), 1:58.27 (7+22); … 25. Bryce Bennett (USA), 1:59.67 (26+23).

Men’s Super-G: canceled due to heavy snow.

Men’s Giant Slalom: 1. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), 2:26.87; 2. Hirscher (AUT), 2:26.91; 3. Thomas Fanara (FRA), 2:27.26; 4. Pinturault (FRA), 2:27.36; 5. Zan Kranjec (SLO), 2:27.53. Also in the top 25: 9. Tommy Ford (USA), 2:28.76; … 16. Cochran-Siegle (USA), 2:29.61.

FIS Alpine World Cup
Crans-Montana (SUI) ~ 23-24 February 2019
(Full results here)

Women’s Downhill: 1. Sofia Goggia (ITA), 1:29.77; 2. Joana Haehlin (SUI), 1:30.13; 3. Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), 1:30.22; 4. Nicole Schmidhofer (AUT), 1:30.29; 5. Corinne Suter (AUT), 1:30.36. Also in the top 25: 19. Alice Merryweather (USA), 1:31.94.

Women’s Combined: 1. Federica Brignone (ITA), 2:15.20 (1st in Downhill + 8th in Slalom); 2. Roni Remme (CAN), 2:15.28 (6+1); 3. Wendy Holdener (SUI), 2:16.24 (11+4); 4. Rahel Kopp (SUI), 2:16.74 (17+5); 5. Patrizia Dorsch (GER), 2:17.01 (21+3).