The Frenchman turned in a spectacular performance at Sölden, a course with a reputation for being difficult. From the start, Pinturault dominated the race, clearing the fastest time in the first run (1:04.38) and outpacing by 0.53 seconds five-time crystal globe winner Marcel Hirscher. Alexis proved he truly has nerves of steel: technical and balanced every step of the way, he held his straights and whipped out of the gates. Flawlessly completing the upper slope and entering the second run 0.4 seconds ahead of Hirscher, he accelerated on the lower part of the hill, giving him the best time for the second run. Outcome: a 0.7-second total advantage over Austrian Marcel Hirscher and 1.37 seconds over 3rd placing German national, Felix Neureuther.
‘Winning at the beginning of the season on such a difficult course means a great deal. So it’s a good sign of things to come. It’s also an opportunity to evaluate oneself after months of training and physical conditioning. One thing that’s easy about skiing is you don’t need to have a strategy, you just give it your all,’ confided Alexis.
A great athlete, Alexis Pinturault has once again proved his talent and determination. Looking at his performance since January 2016, it is easy to imagine him a favourite in the overall rankings. Clearly the Frenchman intends to continue his ascent to the top of all four of the disciplines in which he shines. Richard Mille is yet again delighted to be by Alexis’ side, and is rooting for him in the coming race.
Next up is the first slalom of the year, to be held on 13 November, in Levi, Finland.