Giant slalom victories five and six of the season in Kranjksa Gora, Slovenia, handed Swiss superstar Marco Odermatt the coveted FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup overall title and giant slalom crystal globe for the second successive season, adding to the Super-G crown he’s already won.
Odermatt secured the World Cup overall in Saturday’s race, when he fought back from a poor mid-section on his second run to beat Alexis Pinturault and Henrik Kristoffersen.
With his season-long rival Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway not skiing in Kranjksa Gora, Odermatt confirmed his overall champion status for the second year running, with no one mathematically able to beat his total in the remaining races of the 38-race season.
On the slopes on Saturday, Odermatt found a serious burst of speed on the bottom section of the course during run two to secure his win over Pinturault by 0.23-seconds, with Kristoffersen 0.37-seconds back in third.
During Sunday’s second giant slalom race at the Slovenian venue, Odermatt wasn’t to be denied and wrapped up back-to-back GS titles.
Once again, Odermatt just bested Pinturault and Kristoffersen over the two runs to win by 0.32-seconds over Kristoffersen, with Pinturault third this time out 0.70-seconds adrift of the Swiss champion.
“It’s a little bit different this time. Last year I was way more nervous,” said Odermatt, 25. “This weekend was a little more calm, I already had a globe at home and had a little advantage with the points, so it was a bit more relaxed. Everything is perfect at the moment. I have a perfect team behind me with all the coaches, my service guy and everybody who helps me. Without them, none of this would be possible.”
Victory in Sunday’s race was Odermatt’s 11th victory of the season and his 20th podium finish across all disciplines.
With the Super-G title having already been secured in Aspen two weeks previous, confirmation of the GS title and overall crown in Slovenia has made it three season titles for the Swiss skier for the first time in his career.
Odermatt also has a chance to add a fourth crsytal globe if he can also top the downhill discipline.
Currently sitting third in the standings behind Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway and Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr, he will skip the season’s final giant slalom race in Soldeu, Andorra, next weekend in order to focus on the downhill race.
The Swiss racer will also have another record in his sights in Andorra – breaking the men’s record of 2,000 points for a season that was set by Austria’s Hermann Maier back in the year 2000.
Odermatt heads into next week’s races needing just 175 points to beat the long-standing record and become the outright highest men’s points scorer in a season.
Meanwhile, at the penultimate round of the FIS Ski Cross World Cup in Veysonnaz, Switzerland, local hero Fanny Smith grabbed a popular win for the first time in almost exactly two years.
With the dominant women’s athlete on the circuit, Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund, unable to start because of a knee injury, a new women’s class winner was guaranteed for the first time in 15 months.
Smith, who won every single heat on her way to the final, had the fastest reaction time in the final and led from gate to flag, with only France’s Grillet Aubert able to match her pace. Smith held her off however and celebrated her first victory since the World Cup in Sunny Valley, Russia, in March 2021.
The victory moved Smith up to second place in the overall FIS Ski Cross World Cup standings behind Naeslund with just the final round in Craigleith, Canada, on March 18 still to run.
Header image: A celebrating Marco Odermatt. Credit: Erich Spiess / Red Bull Content Pool