This is the first French medal in these World Alpine Skiing Championships in Courchevel-Méribel. And it comes from a skier who skied down these slopes all his youth. At home in the Savoyard resort, Alexis Pinturault seized gold on Tuesday in the alpine combined, one of his favorite disciplines where he had already been crowned in 2019 at the Are world championships. The tricolor won ahead of the Austrians Marco Schwarz, defending champion and Raphael Haaser.
Author of a super-G cannon at the end of the morning, where he had taken the best time with six hundredths ahead of Schwarz, the Frenchman started first on the slalom of this event, consisting of two races. And he managed to maintain his lead over all his rivals to clinch the gold. A nice revenge for the tricolor, completely missed out on its Beijing Olympics a year ago and in difficulty since its big crystal globe won in 2021, rewarding the winner of the general classification of the World Cup.
“I’ve had these Worlds in mind for almost two years. Today, everything fits together and it’s great, he reacted to the microphone of France Télévisions. I wanted to take advantage of that (Editor’s note: to be at home), it’s an incredible chance that only happens once in a lifetime. »
No World Cup victory this season
Without a World Cup victory since that date, Alexis Pinturault has only been on the podium once this season, in December at Beaver Creek. “I will not be very greedy on these Worlds, I will already be happy if I have a medal”, feared the Frenchman, sick this weekend.
“I was in such a bad place before these Worlds, I had missed qualifying for the second round in slalom… That’s why I’m having trouble realizing it,” he said. outcome of the race. The watchword was to be determined, to try to give the best of myself. »
Thursday, Alexis Pinturault will find this track which smiled on him Tuesday morning with the super-G, where the Frenchman will have a good chance of a medal. He could then continue in the second week with the parallel slalom, before competing in the giant, his other specialty, then finishing the Worlds with the slalom. But the essential is already acquired.