Marco Odermatt continued today his dominance of the Giant Slalom discipline, winning the first race of the season in Val d'Isère and proving he is in a league of his own. 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).
On the "Face de Bellevarde", where Odermatt had already won the last two seasons, the 26-year-old remained untouchable and claimed his 25th World Cup victory. Only Marcel Hirscher, who won the race in 2012, 2013 and 2014, had previously achieved a hat trick in Val d'Isere.
Since Lenzerheide in March 2021, Marco Odermatt was on the podium in all the Giant Slalom races he has competed winning 13 of them. 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. He tied Alberto Tomba in joint-sixth place in the list of most Men's Giant Slalom victories in the World Cup.
The Swiss Ace became the first man to win four successive World Cup Giant Slalom races since Marcel Hirscher in 2017-2018.
"It’s amazing to start the season with another victory here for the third time in a row – it’s not easy to ski here, but I still love this hill. The visibility was very flat and I struggled a bit at the top with many little mistakes. I knew I had to push hard from the middle to the bottom and I think it worked", Odermatt said.
Marco Schwarz reached the podium again and finished in second place, like in the Slalom in Gurgl, in Val d'Isere. It is his 21st career World Cup podium. Schwarz also took the lead in the overall standings in the Alpine Ski World Cup.
"I went in with the 'all-out attack' mentality. I had to take some risks. I'm looking forward to the slalom. I have a very a good feeling. I managed to switch quite easy from long skis to short skis in training", Schwarz said.
Joan Verdu from Andorra surprisingly finished in third position after finishing fifth in the first run. The 28-year-old took his first World Cup podium and achieved the first ever podium for Andorra. "It's crazy, I can't believe it. I had a lot of injuries in the last years, it wasn't easy to get to the top level, evenmore coming from a small country like Andorra. I just went full attack. I really managed a good second run. I knew I could make a good run in this slope and this visibility. I am really proud to represent Andorra", Verdu said.
Austria’s Noel Zwischenbrugger set the fastest second run in his very first Alpine Ski World Cup. The 22-year-old skier finished in 13th position.