SANTA CATERINA – The first Alpine Combined of the season took place today on the Deborah Comagnoni course in Santa Caterina. After the cancellation of the downhill yesterday, the athletes were eager to compete in the last race in 2016.
In the Super-G in the morning, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde set the pace and left his main contenders Marcel Hirscher and Alexis Pinturault +0.79 and +0.84 behind. But in the Alpine Combined, the second run can shuffle up the ranking and the Norwegian seed specialist had to battle hard to keep up in the slalom in the afternoon. He laid down a strong run and claimed a podium placement, his first in that discipline so far.
Marcel Hirscher had an outstanding start in the season, with six podium placements in as many tech races, but his performance in the Santa Caterina Super-G two days ago (a 47th place) was disappointing to him. However, some changes in the setup and his fighter spirit led to a great first run this morning. Together with his excellent slalom skills, Hirscher was able to earn his 98th career podium.
The man-to-beat was clearly Alexis Pinturault. The winner of the Alpine Combined globe 2016 was in third place after the first run and became faster and faster in the SL run, to final cross the finish line as the winner. It’s his 6th win and 9th podium in the discipline. The Frenchman was very happy about this victory, that brings him back on the Overall podium before going in the New Year’s break.
Zagreb is the next destination of the men’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup Tour, with a night slalom on the 5th January to celebrate the 50 years of the FIS Ski World Cup.