World Cup leader Pinturault wins giant slalom race

ADELBODEN, Switzerland (AP) — French skier Alexis Pinturault stretched his lead at the top of the overall World Cup standings by winning a giant slalom on Friday, posting the fastest time in both runs.

Pinturault finished 1.04 seconds ahead of Filip Zubcic on the icy Chuenisbärgli course. Marco Odermatt was third, 1.11 back, to retain a small lead over Pinturault in the season-long giant slalom standings.

Odermatt was aiming to end Switzerland’s 13-year wait for a win in the country’s classic giant slalom race.

Defending overall champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde was more than a second further back in fourth in what is shaping up as another duel with Pinturault for the title.

Kilde completed his run and immediately went to check on injured Norwegian teammate Lucas Braathen, who was being treated on the snow after crashing across the finish line while setting a leading time.

Braathen lost his balance when his skis appeared to touch as he shifted his feet to ensure his right ski did not hook around the last gate.

Adelboden is traditionally a tough place to defend a first-run lead. Most of the sunshine lighting the slope in the morning disappears behind the surrounding mountains by 2 p.m., when Pinturault started his second run.

The Frenchman’s second career win in Adelboden was the 32nd of his World Cup career, one behind Bode Miller, who is ninth on the men’s all-time list.

Pinturault joins greats such as Ingemar Stenmark and Hermann Maier, who managed to win twice on the rolling Swiss terrain that serves as a cow pasture in the summer months.

A second giant slalom is scheduled for Saturday, a race that would normally draw more than 25,000 noisy Swiss fans in a normal season. No spectators can attend this year because of limits on mass gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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