ALPINE SKIING Preview: Hirscher vs. Kristoffersen once again in Val d’Isere

This week’s stop on the men’s Alpine World Cup tour at Val d’Isere (FRA) features a Giant Slalom on Saturday and a Slalom on Sunday. That means that the continuing duel between Austria’s Marcel Hirscher and Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen is expected to continue, and for the top of the podium!

Hirscher is the planet’s dominant skier, having won the overall World Cup title seven times in a row, beginning in 2012. He has dominated the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, winning five titles in each.

But it hasn’t been easy, and his primary challenger has been Kristoffersen, second in the overall standings in 2015-16 and 2017-18, but winner of the Slalom season title in 2016! He has also been second to Hirscher in the seasonal Slalom twice.

Already in 2018-19, Hirscher and Kristoffersen went 1-2 in the Slalom season opener in Levi (FIN) and 2-4 in the Giant Slalom at Beaver Creek (USA) last week, with Germany’s Stefan Luitz posting a surprise victory.

Last season, it was France’s Alexis Pinturault posting the win in the Giant Slalom race in Val d’Isere, ahead of Luitz and Hirscher. In the Slalom, Hirscher and Kristoffersen were 1-2, with Sweden’s Andre Myhrer third. During the course of the 2017-18 season, Hirscher and Kristoffersen went 1-2 on nine occasions and 1-3 three times.

Could someone else break through? Sure, but it would be an upset, especially in the Slalom.

NBC’s Olympic Channel has coverage on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. Eastern time and on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. Eastern. Look for results here.