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Perfect Pinturault edges Garmisch giant slalom

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Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) (AFP)

French speed skier Alexis Pinturault held his nerve to produce a flawless second run for a narrow win on hardening snow at the World Cup giant slalom at Garmisch on Sunday.

Pinturault had been fourth in a tight field just 0.18sec off the pace-setter Loic Meillard after the first run, but as his rivals faltered the Frenchman thrived.

"It was really tight and difficult to handle this snow but I really pushed it and it paid off," the 28-year-old explained.

Meillard ended with a combined time just 0.16sec off the pace in second with Norwegian Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen in third at 0.24.

The result sees Pinturault climb to second on 822pts in the overall race for the World Cup title with Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen top on 877pts.

Pinturault is third in the giant slalom discipline standings on 272pts with Slovenia's Zan Kranjec on 315 and Kristoffersen second on 289.

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