Pinturault dominates combined – before it goes extinct

Pinturault dominates combined - before it goes extinct

BORMIO, Italy — Alexis Pinturault realizes that the Alpine combined event is moving toward extinction.

Maybe that’s why he’s dominating the races that remain.

The Frenchman secured another combined win when first-run leader Dominik Paris straddled a gate toward the end of his slalom run on Friday.

For his seventh World Cup victory in the discipline, Pinturault won with a 0.42-second advantage ahead of Peter Fill of Italy.

Kjetil Jansrud of Norway finished third, 0.45 back.

Canada’s Broderick Thompson was eighth. It was a career-best result for the native of North Vancouver, B.C.

“I skied with confidence in both runs and made some good turns,” Thompson said. “It ended up being pretty good.”

Combined events — which determine the winner by combining the times from one downhill run and one slalom leg — are on the provisional calendar only for the next two seasons. After that, the International Ski Federation has intimated that it plans to install more TV-friendly parallel events instead.

“I can’t say I will regret it but I also can’t say I’m happy about it,” Pinturault said. “I like combined. I like the way we are racing against the downhillers or the downhillers are racing against the tech guys. These are the only races where this is happening.

“Of course if people don’t really like it or are not interested maybe it doesn’t make sense to continue or maybe it makes sense to change it for the future,” he added. “It’s life. It’s evolution.”

This season already, both the men’s and women’s circuits have had giant slalom and slalom parallel events in Alta Badia and Courchevel, France, respectively. Also, city events on miniature slalom courses are planned for Oslo on New Year’s Day and Stockholm on Jan. 30.

“I like city events but in this kind of event you never know what will happen,” Pinturault said. “They’re really short. One mistake and you’re out. It’s something really tricky.”

In the combined, the top all-around racer often wins.

Pinturault stood 19th after the downhill run — 1.65 seconds behind Paris — but had the fastest slalom leg to post his 21st career win across all disciplines. He has won four of the last five, and six of the last nine World Cup combined races.

“He’s a way better downhiller than people expect him to be,” Jansrud said. “And then being an extremely good slalom skier makes him a dangerous combination. So he’s the man to beat.”

Paris was positioned to duplicate his victory in the downhill a day earlier when he held an advantage of 0.46 ahead of Pinturault at the last checkpoint of the slalom leg, but the Italian lost control about 10 gates from the finish.

Jansrud is also a supporter of the combined, citing the event’s long history. But he’s aware that that a one-hour parallel race is more attractive to TV viewers and easier to understand than a complicated combined event that can take all day.

“I think it would be optimal to do a bit of both but we only have so much time,” Jansrud said.

This was the first of two World Cup combined races this season, with the next in Wengen, Switzerland, in January. A combined will also be contested at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February, where a team event will make its debut in the parallel format.

The combined is often considered the toughest test in skiing, since it requires vastly different skills between the high-speed downhill and the sharp and rapid turns of slalom. This race was a case in point, since the downhill was physically demanding on the bumpy Stelvio course and then the slalom was held under the lights on a layout that didn’t leave much room for specialists to excel.

After his downhill run, Paris bent over in exhaustion and rubbed his thighs to relieve his aching muscles.

“It was one of the hardest downhills we ever had in combined,” Pinturault said. “Also, the slalom had a really long flat and was really straight, so it was really hard to make a huge difference. … I won today also because of my downhill performance.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Pinturault dominates combined - before it goes extinct

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,183 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

50.5% of all active cases are variants of concern

Whistle Stop Cafe owner Christopher Scott and his sister Melodie pose for a photo at the Mirror restaurant. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Alberta Health Services delivers ‘closure order’ to Mirror restaurant

Alberta Health Services says it has delivered a closure order to a… Continue reading

Flags bearers hold the Canadian flag high during the Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Sylvan Lake in this October file photo. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
New project to pay tribute to Canadians killed in Afghanistan

Flags of Remembrance scheduled for Sept. 11

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
Security and police block the entrance to GraceLife Church as a fence goes up around it near Edmonton on Wednesday April 7, 2021. The Alberta government has closed down and fenced off a church that has been charged with refusing to follow COVID-19 health rules. Alberta Health Services, in a statement, says GraceLife church will remain closed until it shows it will comply with public-health measures meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hundreds gather to support Alberta church shut down for ignoring COVID-19 orders

SPRUCE GROVE, Alta. — Hundreds of people are gathered outside an Alberta… Continue reading

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces is developing contingency plans to keep COVID-19 from affecting its ability to defend the country and continue its missions overseas amid concerns potential adversaries could try to take advantage of the crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian special forces supported major Iraqi military assault on ISIL last month

OTTAWA — Some Canadian soldiers supported a major military offensive last month… Continue reading

A woman pays her repects at a roadblock in Portapique, N.S. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The joint public inquiry in response to the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia has announced a mandate that includes a probe of the RCMP response as well as the role of gender-based violence in the tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Creating permanent memorial to Nova Scotia mass shooting victims a delicate task

PORTAPIQUE, N.S. — Creating a memorial for those killed in Nova Scotia’s… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Erin O’Toole says ‘I didn’t hide who I was’ running for Conservative leader

OTTAWA — Erin O’Toole assured Conservative supporters that he never hid who… Continue reading

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, second from left, celebrates his goal with teammates, from left to right, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin and Rasmus Andersson, of Sweden, during second period NHL hockey action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal
Jacob Markstrom earns shutout as Flames blank Oilers 5-0 in Battle of Alberta

CALGARY — It took Sean Monahan breaking out of his goal-scoring slump… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia's opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan's government, but they say Monday's throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province's economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s opposition parties acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented… Continue reading

A grizzly bear walks on a treadmill as Dr. Charles Robbins, right, offers treats as rewards at Washington State University's Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center in this undated handout photo. Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails like those commonly used by people, which can affect land management practices in wild areas, says an expert who has written a paper on their travel patterns. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Anthony Carnahan *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Grizzly bears prefer walking on gentle slopes at a leisurely pace like humans: study

VANCOUVER — Grizzly bears seem to favour gently sloping or flat trails… Continue reading

FILE - In this July 27, 2020, file photo, nurse Kathe Olmstead prepares a shot that is part of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y. Moderna said Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, its COVID-19 shot provides strong protection against the coronavirus that's surging in the U.S. and around the world. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)
The COVID-19 wasteland: searching for clues to the pandemic in the sewers

OTTAWA — When Ottawa Public Health officials are trying to decide whether… Continue reading

Most Read