Pinturault seals overall World Cup title with Giant Slalom win at Lenzerheide

The three-time Olympic alpine medallist became the third Frenchman to clinch the overall Crystal globe, finishing ahead of Switzerland's Marco Odermatt also in the GS standings.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

After finishing runner-up twice, Alexis Pinturault has finally won his first overall Crystal globe on his 30th birthday.

The French alpine star also clinched the GS title on Saturday after winning the last event of the season in this discipline at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The three-time Olympic medallist overtook Switzerland's Marco Odermatt in the GS standings and mathematically secured the overall title with just one race to go.

Pinturault has become the third Frenchman in history to win alpine's biggest prize after three-time Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy (1966/67, 1967/68) and Luc Alphand (1996/97).

"I’ve worked so hard for so many years and now it feels really great that it’s coming back," the French skier told FIS after the race.

"Claiming a globe and also a big globe at the same time is something really unbelievable…It was always something I was searching for and pushing for a lot of years

"It’s been a hard year with some ups and downs, but at the end crystal is always something special in our sport and I’m really happy that I can bring it home."

On the steep and challenging 'Silvano Beltrametti' course, Pinturault held on to his lead from the first run and finished 0.20 seconds ahead of Filip Zubcic from Croatia, with teammate and reigning world champion Mathieu Faivre in third, a further 0.01 seconds back.

Odermatt started the day with a 25-point lead in the GS standings on the Frenchman, but struggled in both runs and ended in 11th place, 1.28 seconds off the pace, losing the discipline's globe by 51 points.

The last French skier to win the men's giant slalom crystal globe was Frederic Covili in 2001/02.

With his fifth World Cup win of the season, Pinturault also secured the overall title, extending his lead from 31 to 107 points before tomorrow's slalom, the last event of the men's alpine season.

In French history, only Grenoble 1968 hero Killy (twice) managed to secure the overall and giant slalom globes in the same season.