Pinturault wins combined to keep globe-seeking Norwegians on edge


Hinterstoder (Austria) (AFP)

France's Alexis Pinturault ensured the race for the overall World Cup title will go down to the wire by winning Sunday's alpine combined in Hinterstoder.

The victory in the event comprising a super-G and slalom -- a discipline in which he is reigning world champion -- was Pinturault's 28th on the World Cup circuit and 10th in the combined.

Sitting second after the super-G won by Switzerland's Mauro Caviezel, Pinturault laid down a near-perfect slalom run for a combined total of 2min 04.90sec.

It was a good day's racing for the 28-year-old Frenchman, coming after a confidence-boosting fourth-placed finish in Saturday's super-G.

His victory saw him leapfrog Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen into second spot in the overall standings, on 1,048 points.

Overall leader Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (1,082pts) missed out altogether in Saturday's super-G as he failed to finish the course, but the Norwegian held his nerve on the slalom to finish a combative third in the combined to bag 60pts.

Kristoffersen on Saturday came in 22nd in his first-ever super-G race and elected to play it safe in the slalom section of the combined to ensure an 11th-placed finish, and 24 valuable points, to stay in the race (981pts).

Racers will tackle what promises to be a cliff-hanger of a giant slalom in the Austrian resort on Monday.

It is a discipline in which Pinturault has won four global bronze medals (2015 and 2019 worlds; 2014 and 2018 Olympics), while Kristoffersen is current Olympic silver medallist and reigning world champion.

Kilde, however, has never made a giant slalom podium, meaning Pinturault and Kristoffersen have, at least on paper, a golden opportunity to make up ground on the Norwegian.