Kranjska Gora Men's Giant Slalom Races Preview
Updated: Mar 10
Next weekend two Giant Slalom World Cup races will be held in Kranjska Gora.
Kranjska Gora is an alpine resort in Slovenia, near the mountains and glacial lakes of Triglav National Park. The Upper Sava Valley, one of the most beautiful Alpine valleys, lies in the north-westernmost part of Slovenia, right next to the tri-border with Austria and Italy.
The Podkoren racecourse, where the 62nd edition of the Vitranc Cup in Kranjska Gora will take place, is due to some blind turning, hanging terrain and spectacular finish one of the most challenging race slopes in the Women's calendar.
Course Name: Podkoren 3
Start Elevation: 1278 m (Giant Slalom)
Finish Elevation: 843 m (Giant Slalom)
Vertical Drop: 435 m (Giant Slalom)
Max. slope: 59 %
Kranjska Gora (SLO)
March 11th Giant Slalom / Men. 1st run 9:30 - 2nd run 12:30 CET
March 12th Giant Slalom / Men. 1st run 9:30 - 2nd run 12:30 CET
Last season Henrik Kristoffersen won both Giant Slalom races held in Kranjska Gora.
In the first one, and after a great second run, he moved up to the top from 5th place to beat the dominator of the season Marco Odermatt and teammate Lucas Bratthen. They finished tied in second place +0.33 seconds behind Kristoffersen.
Henrik Kristoffersen won also the second Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora. He laid down an exceptional second run, setting the best time, to claim victory with a combined time of 2:18.13, finishing 0.23 seconds ahead of Austrian Stefan Brennsteiner. The dominator of the season Marco Odermatt finished in third place +0.27 seconds behind Kristoffersen.
Marco Odermatt is the reigning Olympic Champion, World Champion, and Crystal Globe winner in the Men's Giant Slalom.
Marco Odermatt has reached the podium in each of the last 14 men's World Cup Giant Slalom events in which he started. He is the fourth man to claim a podium in 14 successive starts in Men's Giant Slalom events, after Ingemar Stenmark (37, 1977-1981), Marcel Hirscher (18, 2016-2018), and Alberto Tomba (14, 1990-1992).
Odermatt has competed in six Men's Giant Slalom World Cup events this season and won four of these. He finished third in Alta Badia (18 December) and second today in Palisade Tahoe (26 February).
With Aspen's victory last weekend, Odermatt clinched his first Super-G Crystal Globe. He could clinch the Overall Crystal Globe, as well as the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe in the two Giant Slalom World Cup events in Kranjska Gora.
Odermatt won the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe last season becoming the first Swiss man to do so since Didier Cuche (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.
Only von Grünigen (23) among Swiss Men has won more Giant Slalom races in the World Cup than Odermatt (11).
The 25-year-old Swiss Ace would be the third man to win the Overall, Super-G and Giant Slalom Crystal Globes in the same season, after Pirmin Zurbriggen (1986-1987) and Hermann Maier (1997-1998, 1999-2000, and 2000-2001).
Odermatt won the Overall Crystal Globe last season. The last three men to won in back-to-back seasons were Hermann Maier (1999-2000, 2000-2001), Stephan Eberharter (2001-2002, 2002-2003), and Marcel Hirscher (from 2011-2012 to 2018-2019).
The only Swiss man to have won the Overall World Cup multiple times was Pirmin Zurbriggen in 1983-1984, 1986-1987, 1987-1988, and 1989-1990.
Henrik Kristoffersen is 100 points behind Odermatt in the Giant Slalom World Cup standings with 3 races to go.
Kristoffersen has won three of the last four Giant Slalom World Cup races held in Kranjska Gora, including both events last season in March 2022. Those are also his last victories in Giant Slalom in the World Cup.
The Norwegian finished on the podium in four of the seven men's Giant Slalom World Cup events this season, third in Sölden, second twice in Alta Badia, and again second in Adelboden.
Kristoffersen finished in the Top-5 in all Giant Slalom races this season. He finished in fifth place in Val d'Isère and Schladming and fourth in Palisade Tahoe.
Marco Schwarz won the last Giant Slalom at Palisade Tahoe beating season's dominator Marco Odermatt by 0.03 seconds.
The 26-year-old Austrian celebrated his first World Cup victory in this discipline. Schwarz had finished third in the previous two Men's Giant Slaloms: the World Cup in Schladming and the World Championships in Courchevel.
The last Austrian winner of a Men's Giant Slalom in Kranjska Gora was Marcel Hirscher (2010, 2016, 2017, and 2018).
Schwarz is fourth in the Giant Slalom standings with 324 points.
This season Žan Kranjec finished on the podium three times. He was second in Sölden, and third in Val d'Isère and Alta Badia. His podium in the second race held in the Italian ski resort was his 11th podium in the World Cup, all in Giant Slalom.
Kranjec (2) hopes to equal Jure Kosir (3) on most World Cup victories among Men representing Slovenia. The last Slovenian man to claim a podium finish in a World Cup event in Kranjska Gora was Uros Pavlovcic (3rd) in the Giant Slalom on December 2001. Jure Kosir was the last Slovenian man to win a World Cup in the slovenian ski resort, a Slalom on January 1999.
The 30-year-old Slovenian is third in the Giant Slalom standings with 345 points.
Loïc Meillard won the Giant Slalom in Schladming on January 25. It was his first victory in the discipline.
Until Schladming Loic Meillard had finished six times on the podium in a World Cup Giant Slalom event (3 second places, 3 third places). It was his 14th World Cup podium, the fifth this season.
He had previously achieved a second place in the Slalom in Wengen, a third place in the Giant Slalom in Adelboden, and two third places in the Slalom in Val d'Isère and in the Super-G in Bormio. This makes Meillard the first skier since Marcel Hirscher in the 2015-2016 season to have made it onto the podium in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super-G podiums in the same winter.
He can become the seventh Swiss man to win a Giant Slalom World Cup in Kranjska Gora.
The 26-year-old Swiss is on fifth place in the Giant Slalom standings with 320 points.