France's Pinturault wins Val d'Isere WCup giant slalom

Val-d'Isère (France) (AFP) –


French skier Alexis Pinturault won the World Cup giant slalom in Val d'Isere on Saturday, rounding into form two months ahead of the Winter Olympics.

Pinturault, who won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, finished ahead of Germany's Stefan Luitz and Marcel Hirscher of Austria despite lying third after the first run.

He was 0.28sec ahead of Luitz by the end.

The Frenchman had only finished 12th at the last World Cup race in Beaver Creek, Colorado, but mastered the conditions on home soil after the race start had to be moved down the course because of high winds and piles of snow.

"The conditions here were really difficult," he said. "I changed my equipment after Beaver Creek where I made a lot of mistakes."

Hirscher was fastest in the first run but blew his chance of victory when a flag on one of the gates become caught up in his glove for a few seconds.

Luitz meanwhile showed he too is in form with two months to go until the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, by following up his third place in Beaver Creek with his second-place finish.