ALTA BADIA, Italy – Alexis Pinturault held a challenge from unannounced Norwegian skier Atle Lie McGrath to win the Classic Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom on the Gran Risa course Sunday

After the first run, the Frenchman mastered the steep and technically demanding course in the Italian Alps for the second time, beating McGrath by seven hundredths

“The lights went out slowly because it was getting a little late It made a big difference in the pitch But I did my best and tried very hard and it paid off”

Justin Murisier finished 024 seconds behind in third place for the Swiss skier’s first podium result

Marco Odermatt and Filip Zubcic were among the top three after the opening run, but fell to fourth and fourth respectively tenth place back

McGrath, who did not finish in the top 10 in 13 previous starts, was born in Vermont. He is the son of Felix McGrath, a World Cup skier on the US ski team in the 1980s and 90s

When Atle Lie was two years old, the family moved to Norway, the homeland of his mother, former cross-country skier Selma Lie

20-year-old McGrath, who wore bib 29, was surprised to get the fourth fastest time in the first run and he was able to improve on that by taking the lead in the second

Pinturault started his last run with a buffer of 046 seconds over the Norwegian, but lost time at almost every checkpoint before just sticking to his lead

“That was really unbelievable,” said McGrath. “My goal for today was to have fun. My first time on the Gran Risa from above, such a beautiful day, the slope was beautiful. I told myself I should enjoy the moment and the best I can ski It’s so fun when you do your best and really succeed ”

His father’s best career at the World Championships was runner-up in a slalom in Are, Sweden in March 1988

“His best result was second, so I tied him today. My goal now is to beat him,” said McGrath

Pinturault racked up 15 of his 31 career World Cup wins in GS, but Sunday’s result was his first podium of the season

The four races have had four different winners so far, with Lucas Braathen, Zubcic and Odermatt triumphing in the previous races

The result brought Pinturault with the Italian Alberto Tomba, who took part in the race, to fifth place on the GS winners list of all time

“This is unbelievable, this is something special. I am very happy that I can have 15 wins in GS. This discipline is the most important for me,” said Pinturault

With the win, Pinturault returned to the top of the overall standings, one point ahead of defending champion Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

Pinturault lost his lead in the rankings to Kilde after the Norwegian scored two victories in a row at speed races in nearby Val Gardena on Friday and Saturday

Pinturault was 54 points behind Kilde last season when the remaining six races were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak

For the Americans, Tommy Ford had the best result in fifth place, followed by River Radamus (20), Ted Ligety (26) and Ryan Cochran-Siegle (29) Erik Read was the only Canadian in points He finished 19th

“First run, I wasn’t quite the fire and I took a better shot on the second run and let that come out,” said Ford. “I was a bit round and had trouble getting the rhythm in the first run, but in the second run I was more on the fall line and hit with more force and burned all the way through the target ”

The men’s world championship remains on Monday in Italy for slaloms in Alta Badia and on Tuesday in Madonna di Campiglio

On a steep, gnarled course, the French champion Alexis Pinterault becomes one of the greats of the GS. And it is remarkable that the young RR 20 placed with an 1.63 differential

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Alta Badia

World news – FI – Pinturault beats unannounced McGrath and wins GS in Alta Badia