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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Alta Badia Giant Slalom Races Preview

After the speed races in Val Gardena, the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup circuit will move to Alta Badia.

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 37th Alpine Ski World Cup on Sunday 18th December 2021, on the Gran Risa slope in La Villa, with the traditional Men's Giant Slalom, followed by another Giant Slalom on Monday 19th.

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 18th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:30 (CET)

Giant Slalom, Monday, December 19th. 1st run 10.00; 2nd run 13:30 (CET)

Last season Henrik Kristoffersen won the first Giant Slalom in Alta Badia. After a great second run, he moved up to the top from 7th place to beat the dominator of the season Marco Odermatt. Kristoffersen is the only Norwegian to have won the Gran Risa Giant Slalom in the World Cup.

Marco Odermatt finished in second place, +0.31 seconds behind the Norwegian.

Austrian Manuel feller rounded out the podium in third place (+0.37).

After finishing in second place the day before, Marco Odermatt won the second Giant Slalom held in Alta Badia.

Marco Odermatt celebrated his third victory in the fourth Giant Slalom of the season in an impressive manner. The Swiss skier, who was leading the race after the first run, outclassed the competition and won with a clear lead of 1.01 seconds.

Luca De Aliprandini finished in second place. It was his first podium in the World Cup.

Alexander Schmid finished in third place, 1.09 seconds back. Schmid became the first German since Markus Wasmeier 35 years ago to make it onto the podium on the Gran Risa. Schmid like Aliprandini also celebrated his premiere exuberantly on a Giant Slalom World Cup podium.

Marco Odermatt continued his 2022-2023 winter season in the best possible way today, winning the second Men's Giant Slalom in Val d'Isère and proving he is in a league of his own. On an extremely demanding slope (22 out of 67 skiers DNF the race), he set the fastest time in both runs, beating Manuel Feller by 1.40 seconds and Zan Kranjec by +2.05 seconds.

On the "Face de Bellevarde", where Odermatt had already won last season, the 25-year-old remained untouchable leading him to his 14th World Cup victory.

He finished on the podium in the last ten World Cup Giant Slalom events: 7 wins (Sölden, Val d'Isère, Alta Badia, Adelboden, Meribel-Courchevel, and this season in Sölden and now Val d'Isère), 2 second places (Alta Badia and Kranjska Gora) and 1 third place (Kranjska Gora).

He is the sixth male skier to reach the podium in 10 successive Giant Slalom events held in the men's World Cup, after Ingemar Stenmark (22, 1977-1980 and 10, 1980-1981), Marcel Hirscher (18, 2016-2018), Phil Mahre (10, 1981-1982), Alberto Tomba (10, 1990-1992), and Ted Ligety (10, 2012-2013).

Marco Odermatt can become the first man to win four successive Giant Slalom World Cup events since Marcel Hirscher in 2017-2018 (5 from December to March).

Henrik Kristoffersen (3) was the only other man apart from Marco Odermatt to win a World Cup Giant Slalom event last season. The Norwegian won in Alta Badia on 19 December and both races in Kranjska Gora.

Kristoffersen has won two Giant Slalom World Cup races in Alta Badia. He can become the fifth man to win three or more Giant Slalom World Cups on the Gran Risa, after Marcel Hirscher (6), Alberto Tomba (4), Kalle Palander (3) and

Massimiliano Blardone (3).

The Norwegian has only claimed more wins and podium finishes in Giant Slalom World Cups in Kranjska Gora (3 wins, 6 podiums) than in Alta Badia (2 wins, 4 podiums).

In 2021Alexis Pinturault won the Overall and Giant Slalom Crystal Globes. To achieve his first title in the discipline, Alexis Pinturault finished in the top-five in each of the ten Giant Slalom events of the 2020-2021 season. He claimed three successive wins in Alta Badia and Adelboden (2).

Pinturault has won 18 World Cup Giant Slalom events, ranking him in fifth place on the all-time men's list. 39 of his 75 podiums in the World Cup were in this discipline. His 18 victories in this discipline are at least 9 more than any other active male skier.

Pinturault's last win in a Giant Slalom World Cup was in Lenzerheide on 20 March 2021. This is also the last Giant Slalom which was not won by Odermatt or Kristoffersen.

Pinturault (39 podiums) can become the third man to claim a podium in a Giant Slalom World Cup in at least 13 seasons, after Stenmark (16 seasons) and Benjamin Raich (15).

Manuel Feller hopes to succeed Marcel Hirscher as latest Austrian winner of a men's Giant Slalom World Cup. Hirscher's last win came in Adelboden in January 2019.

Feller finished in second place in Val d'Isère, +1.40 seconds behind Odermatt.

Žan Kranjec (2) hopes to equal Jure Kosir (3) on most World Cup victories among men representing Slovenia. Kranjec came second and third in the Giant Slalom in Sölden and Val d'Isère this season respectively.

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