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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Alta Badia Giant Slalom Races Preview

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

After the speed races in Val Gardena, the Alpine Ski World Cup circuit moves to Alta Badia with two Giant Slaloms on the program.

Alta Badia is a ski resort in the Dolomites of northern Italy, in the upper part of the Val Badia in South Tyrol. It is included in the territories of the municipalities of Corvara, Badia, and La Val. Alta Badia is one of the 12 ski areas of Dolomiti Superski.

The prestigious ski resort in the heart of the Alto Adige Dolomites will welcome the 38th Alpine Ski World Cup on Sunday 17th December 2023, on the Gran Risa slope in La Villa, with the traditional Men's Giant Slalom, followed by another Giant Slalom on Monday 18th.

The 15th December 1985 saw the first Men's World Cup Giant Slalom on the Gran Risa slope. Marcello Varallo, current president of the Organising Committee, managed to achieve his dream by bringing a Ski World Cup competition to his home in Alta Badia. The competition was won that day by Alpine ski legend Ingemar Stenmark, followed by the Austrian Hubert Strolz and by local champion Roberto Erlacher.

The program in Alta Badia will be the following:

Giant Slalom, Sunday, December 17th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:30 (CET)

Giant Slalom, Monday, December 18th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:30 (CET)

After winning the first Slalom of the season held in Val d'Isére, Lucas Braathen won the first of two Giant Slaloms held in Alta Badia. Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place 0.02 seconds behind his teammate. Marco Odermatt rounded out the podium in third place (+0.10).

After setting the best time in the first run outclassing the competition (only Henrik Kristoffersen loses less than a second with six tenths) Marco Odermatt, won the second Giant Slalom held in Alta Badia.

Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place +0.20 seconds behind the Swiss.

Zan Kranjec rounded up the podium in third +0.90 seconds behind Odermatt.

Marco Odermatt won the first World Cup Giant Slalom of the Season in Val d'Isère. On an extremely demanding slope, and despite making a few mistakes, he finished clearly ahead of Marco Schwarz (+0.98) and Joan Verdu (+1.32 seconds).

In the last two seasons, Marco Odermatt was the absolute dominator of the discipline. He is the reigning Olympic Champion, World Champion, and Crystal Globe winner in the Men's Giant Slalom.

The 26-year-old Swiss has competed in nine Men's Giant Slalom World Cup events last season and won seven of these (Sölden, Val d'Isère, Alta Badia, Adelboden, Kranjska Gora I and II, and Soldeu). He finished third in Alta Badia (18 December) and second in Palisade Tahoe (26 February). Only Ingmar Stenmark (10 in 1978-1979) has won more Giant Slalom races in a single season.

Since December 7, 2020, in Santa Caterina Odermatt has won 15 Giant Slalom events in the World Cup. Among Swiss men, only von Michael von Grünigen (23) won more men's Giant Slalom World Cup events than Odermatt.

The Swiss Ace became the first man to win four successive World Cup Giant Slalom races since Marcel Hirscher in 2017-2018.

Marco Odermatt secured the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe in Kranjska Gora. Odermatt also picked up the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe in the 2021-2022 season becoming the first Swiss man to do so since Didier Cuche in 2008-2009. The last Swiss man to claim the Giant Slalom globe in successive seasons was Michael von Grünigen in 1995-1996, and 1996-1997.

Odermatt is tied with Alberto Tomba (15) in joint-sixth place in the list of most Men's Giant Slalom victories in the World Cup.

Marco Schwarz reached the podium again this season and finished in second place, like in the Slalom in Gurgl, in Val d'Isere. It's his 21st career World Cup podium.

Schwarz was on the podium in Giant Slalom three times last season, two third places in Schladming and Soldeu, and his maiden GS win in Palisades Tahoe.

Marco Schwarz, Lucas Braathen, and Loïc Meillard were the only alpine skiers apart from Odermatt to have won a Men's Giant Slalom event last World Cup season.

Joan Verdu from Andorra surprisingly finished in third position in Val d'Isère. The 28-year-old took his first World Cup podium and achieved the first ever podium for Andorra.

With four victories in the European Cup Giant Slalom in Glungezer (twice), on the Reiteralm and in Oppdal, he won the overall ranking in this discipline in 2021-2022 and became the first athlete from Andorra to secure a fixed starting place in all World Cup Giant Slalom events since the 2022-2023 season. Joan Verdú Sánchez made his Alpine Ski World Cup debut in Sölden in 2016.

Henrik Kristoffersen finished in second place in the Men's Giant Slalom World Cup standings last season. Kristoffersen finished on the podium of a Giant Slalom event seven times in the 2022-2023 season, but never on the highest step (5 second places and 2 third places).

With 7 wins Kristoffersen surpassed in 2021 Kjetil André Aamodt (6) for most World Cup Giant Slalom wins in total among Norwegian skiers.

Kristoffersen has claimed at least one World Cup win in each of the last ten seasons. He can become the second male skier to claim at least one World Cup victory in as many as 11 consecutive seasons, after Alberto Tomba (1987-1988 to 1997-1998).

Žan Kranjec finished in second place at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. Kranjec became the second man representing Slovenia to win an Olympic medal in alpine skiing, after Jure Kosir (bronze in the slalom in 1994). Kranjec recorded two World Cup victories, in the Giant Slalom in Saalbach Hinterglemm (2018) and in Adelboden (2020).

Kranjec (2) hopes to equal Jure Kosir (3) on most World Cup victories among men representing Slovenia.

Alexis Pinturault has won 18 World Cup Giant Slalom events, ranking him fifth all-time among men. His most recent victory in this event was in Lenzerheide on 20 March 2021. Since then, Pinturault has recorded seven podium finishes in the World Cup (3 second places, 4 third places).

In the last two seasons, Pinturault failed to win a single World Cup event for the first time since 2010-2011. The French skier had claimed at least one World Cup win in 10 successive seasons from 2011-2012 to 2020-2021.


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