In the giant slalom in Adelboden, Marco Odermatt celebrated his seventh win of the season in front of an intoxicating backdrop. The Swiss won his home game on Saturday (January 7th, 2023). Alexander Schmid, the best German in the classification, was not there due to illness – but his participation in the World Cup does not seem to be in jeopardy. Two DSV racers collected World Cup points.
Odermatt won in a superior manner in front of more than 25,000 fans on the Chuenisbärgli. After the first round, the 25-year-old already had a comfortable lead of 0.31 seconds. The now 17-time World Cup winner extended this to 0.73 seconds in the final. The Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen and Loic Meillard, a second Swiss, came in second and third.
Odermatt cheers – the basin explodes
The fourth victory in the fifth giant slalom of the season was no walk in the park. Especially Kristoffersen with a strong second run demanded everything from Odermatt. But the Swiss was undeterred and remained aggressive in the final. Despite Kristoffersen’s good lead, Odermatt was even able to extend his lead – at one point the Swiss was already 1.20 seconds ahead of the competition. He reached the finish line with a lead of 0.73 seconds – the valley basin in Adelboden exploded with jubilation when the 1 shone behind Odermatt’s name.
Frenchman Muffat-Jeandet crashes badly
The second round was overshadowed by a serious fall for Frenchman Victor Muffat-Jeandet. The 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in the combination lost his balance in the final in the upper section of the course after touching his upper body with a goal and hit the back of his head. The 33-year-old flew into the fences, had to be treated there and taken down to the valley on a stretcher.
Schmid is missing – “Out of the sky in the back”
From a German point of view, there was no top placement. Because: Alexander Schmid, the best German in the overall and giant slalom World Cup, was not present in Adelboden. The 28-year-old had to pull out of the race shortly before the start due to back pain. “The Alex suffered a muscular injury on his back while driving in”explained DSV alpine director Wolfgang Maier on ZDF.
“It came out of the sky. But it was so intense that he didn’t see a chance to start. It hit him in the back and he wasn’t able to drive.”, says Maier. Short-term therapy in Munich should soon get Schmid back on the skis. Most recently, before Christmas, Schmid had impressed with fifth place in Alta Badia.
Luitz and Grammel collect World Cup points
After all: With Stefan Luitz and Anton Grammel, two Germans made it into the World Cup points. Luitz was 23rd, Grammel 27th. For Luitz, who missed the Olympic Games in 2018 and 2022 after a cruciate ligament tear and back surgery, it was only the second top 30 finish of the season. The 30-year-old could have done even better – in his second run he showed a courageous race in the upper area. However, he lost valuable time during the transition to the steep final slope and in the finish and fell back.
Luitz: “Extremely important for me”
“I had a good feeling at the top. But I’m a bit stricken, I was a bit ill three days ago. That has continued to this day. That’s why I lacked a bit of strength in the first and second round downstairs“, Luitz explained his loss of time in the finish at the finish. He said on ZDF that he took a lot of motivation from the race: “Today was extremely important for me. I’ve had a difficult time. But today with this mood you know why you’re doing it.”
The 24-year-old Grammel made it into the World Cup top 30 for the third time in his career. “I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t go further. Basically, I can’t complain. World Cup points aren’t something I take for granted. Maybe I was too cautious after all“Said Grammel after the race on ZDF.
The German athletes wore mourning ribbons on their upper arms for the alpine legend Rosi Mittermaier, who died this week.
Rauchfuss and Gratz eliminated in the first run
So did Julian Rauchfuss and Fabian Gratz, who, however, missed the top 30. With start number 54, Rauchfuss finished 35th in the first round. He was only 0.43 seconds short of a time of 1:21.28 minutes. Fabian Gratz came in 37th with start number 53 (1:21.38 minutes).