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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Val d'Isère Men's Giant Slalom Preview

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

The Men's Giant Slalom event of the "The Critérium de la Première Neige à Val d'Isère" will be held on December 9, 2023 in La Face de Bellevarde.

December 9th Giant Slalom 1st run 9:30 CET - 2nd run 13:00 CET

Last season in Val d'Isère, on an extremely demanding slope (22 out of 67 skiers DNF the race), Marco Odermatt set the fastest time in both runs, beating Manuel Feller by 1.40 seconds and Zan Kranjec by +2.05 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 14 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 (14).

The Swiss Ace can become 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 (14) can equal Alberto Tomba (15) in joint-sixth place in the list of most Men's Giant Slalom victories in the World Cup. Hermann Maier and Benjamin Raich claimed 14 wins as well.

Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 26

Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 14

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).

Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 31

Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 7

Marco Schwarz was on the podium in Giant Slalom three times during the 2022-2023 winter season, two third places in Schladming and Soldeu, and his maiden GS win in Palisades Tahoe.

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

Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 3

Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 1

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.

Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 11

Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 2

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.

Giant Slalom World Cup Podiums: 41

Giant Slalom World Cup Wins: 18


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