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Alpine skiing – Marco Odermatt makes the overall World Cup victory perfect

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Alpine skiing – Marco Odermatt makes the overall World Cup victory perfect

As of: February 24, 2024 11:21 p.m

It is the expression of total dominance: Marco Odermatt also won the seventh giant slalom this winter and thus secured early victory in the overall World Cup. In Palisades Tahoe on Saturday (February 24, 2024) he also had to perform at his best.

For Odermatt it was the tenth victory in a row in the giant slalom across all seasons. The Swiss also broke the record set by Alberto Tomba, who achieved nine slalom successes in a row between January 1994 and February 1995. Only Ingemar Stenmark is now ahead of him, who once celebrated 14 giant slalom victories in a row. But Odermatt could also catch up with the Swede if he wins all of the remaining giant slaloms this winter.

Thanks to his success in Palisades Tahoe, Odermatt is mathematically certain of his third victory in a row in the overall World Cup. With a lead of 1001 points over the Austrian Manuel Feller, who couldn’t get past eighth place, Odermatt can no longer be pushed out of the lead with ten races still to go.

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Radamus on the podium for the first time

The last time that Odermatt had to admit defeat in his flagship discipline was exactly a year ago in Palisades Tahoe, of all places. At that time, the Austrian Marco Schwarz, who has been out since December with a torn cruciate ligament, triumphed.

This time his worst opponent in California was Henrik Kristoffersen. The Norwegian successfully stood up to Odermatt in both runs, but in the end had to admit defeat by 0.12 seconds. Local hero River Radamus caused a surprise, crossing the finish line in third place (+1.37 seconds) and celebrating the first podium finish of his career.

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Even Kristoffersen can’t stop Odermatt

Odermatt laid the foundation for his success thanks to an outstanding first run, in which he once again left the entire competition amazed with well-measured turns and an ideal line on the steep slope. Only Kristoffersen was able to stand up to the World Cup dominator and kept the race open before the second round, just 0.15 seconds behind. Behind them, the competition on the demanding Olympic slope of 1960 was left behind in many ways. Radamus and Odermatt’s first pursuer in the discipline ranking, Filip Zubcic (Croatia), were still able to keep the gap to less than a second.

Since the second run was set much faster, the times also changed. However, the slope now also threw off numerous riders, which caused the classification to be shaken up again. Alexander Steen Olsen (Norway) and Lukas Feuerstein (Austrian) alone were able to gain 16 places. Zubcic, however, said goodbye to the fight for the podium after a driving error. Radamus benefited from this, crossing the finish line in third place and causing endless cheers from the spectators. The day’s victory once again only went over Odermatt. Despite Kristoffersen’s outstanding run, the Swiss went one better in the last few meters and extended his fantastic series.

Schmid too timid

From a German perspective, only Alexander Schmid made it into the second round. However, the 29-year-old parallel world champion didn’t have a really good first run and thus ruined his chance of a top ten placement early on. Schmid, who is still looking for form after tearing his cruciate ligament last year, rarely found the ideal line on the icy slope. Although he got through well in the key places, he also had to lose speed.

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The picture was similar in the second run: After a good start, Schmid lost the crucial time in the middle section and was dissatisfied at the finish in 15th place. The remaining three German starters were just spectators in the final. Fabian Gratz (+3.14 seconds) was able to hope for the second round for a long time, but missed it by the narrowest of margins in 31st place. Stefan Luitz (41st/+3.78) and Anton Grammel (48th/+4.15) had to fall far back in the field.

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Odermatt on the hunt for records

Odermatt has more crystal balls and records waiting for him this winter. The Swiss dominator leads the ratings in the downhill, super-G and giant slalom. He can win the crystal ball in his flagship discipline next weekend in Aspen. If he can do the same in the other two disciplines, Odermatt would become the first ski racer to win three crystal balls in one season since the Austrian Hermann Maier 23 years ago.

Maier’s record for the largest lead in the overall World Cup (743) is also in danger of falling and the record for the most wins in the season (13) is also wobbling. Odermatt currently shares this with Stenmark, Maier and Marcel Hirscher. The 26-year-old Olympic champion currently has eleven victories this season. He still has six races left to break this record.

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