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Mayer edges to Pinturault for surprise combined win

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Wengen (Switzerland) (AFP)

Matthias Mayer was fastest in the downhill and then held off the slalom specialists to win the World Cup combined event in Wengen on Friday.

The Austrian speed specialist was fastest in the downhill and then managed a fourth place in the slalom to edge Frenchman Alexis Pinturault by 0.07sec overall.

A second Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet completed the podium.

Mayer skied the downhill in 1 minute, 41,40 seconds, 0.53 ahead of Swiss skier Gilles Roulin. Pinturault was 19th, 1.68sec slower.

In the slalom, many of the specialists stuttered.

Pinturault, the Olympic silver medallist in the combined in 2018 and winner in Wengen in 2018, was fastest in 49.44sec, 0.84sec ahead of the next best time, by Swiss skier Loic Meillard.

Muffat-Jeandet, the Olympic bronze medallist and runner up in Wengen last year, was third.

Mayer, skiing last, seized his chance. He produced the time he needed, delivering the fourth-fastest slalom time and losing just 1.61sec to Pinturault.

For the 29-year-old Austrian, an Olympic downhill and super-G champion, it was his seventh World Cup victory, and his first in the combined event.

Pinturault, who won the previous combined this season in Bormio in December, took over first place in the event standings ahead of Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, who was not competing.

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