First in this week’s Gravity ski jumping and the crowning of Peter Prevc.
The Slovenian is certain to win the World Cup even though there are six more events to be completed before the end of the season.
The 23-year-old saw off the challenge of Severin Freund and Daniel-Andre Tande to claim his second consecutive win in Almaty.
His victory came after jumps of 139.5 metres and a second of 139 to give him a points tally of 325.9 and his 13th victory of the season.
Freund, last year’s overall winner managed a hill record of 141.5 metres but his other jump was shy on 137 metres.
Prevc debut victory means he is the second Slovenian after Primoz Peterka to win the prize.
I’m no wimp says Vonn
We expected a new chapter in the duel between Lindsey Vonn and Lara Gut, but the American and the Swiss did not shine in the Principality of Andorra. On Sunday, the victory in alpine combined went to Marie-Michèle Gagnon.
It was her second World Cup combined – the last was two years ago.
Weather had played havoc with the schedule causing delays. In the Super G discipline Gagnon put in a great performance to finish in ninth position enough to keep her in touch with the podium before the slalom.
The Canadian was the first slalom specialist after the Super G run and though she did make some mistakes on each section she kept on attacking the course not holding back and crossing the line with a green light.
In the end she claimed victory 0.20 seconds Wendy Holdener
Lindsey Vonn, skiing with a knee brace to protect the hairline fracture she got on Saturday after crashing into a fence and being carried off the course extended her World Cup lead with 13th place.
Her rival for the title Lara Gut didn’t finish and so handed Vonn a 28 point advantage in the standings.
Despite her injury Vonn had set the fastest time in the super-G discipline. The American responded on Twitter.
No one can ever call me a whimp. #allheart— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) February 28, 2016
Nothing and nobody can stop Alexis Pinturault. The Courcheval skier won his fifth race of the winter, his fourth in February, his third giant slalom in a row and the second in Hinterstoder.
The Frenchman had a dominant first run with a 0.47 second margin over Felix Neureuther.
Aiming for his third consecutive Giant Slalom he started the second run with a gap of 0.56 seconds over rival Marcel Hirscher.
It was even more impressive winning the race with a huge gap of 1.14 seconds and setting the quickest time of the second run on what was a deteriorating course.
As in Friday’s Giant Slalom, Hirscher finished second, while his overall title rival Henrik Kristoffersen followed in third place.
So Alexis Pinturault is back on the top after a tough start to the season. He can’t win the overall classification but according to Franck Piccard, he has the ability to aim for then Crystal Globe.
“He has to win more first of all in the disciplines where he is strong, in particular the giant slalom. He has to get closer in the slalom. He made several forays in super-giant slalom – very, very good ones – and then with confidence, he is going to, little by little get into the downhill and will be able to climb the overall classification because he is capable of it.
‘But do do that he is going to have to ski with a little bit more spontaneity, show a little bit of madness in his skiing, in particular the super-G and in the downhill to make his racing live a little bit more.”
A small teaser now. Which skier is considered the best downhill specialist in the history of the sport? Jean-Claude Killy, Pirmin Zurbriggen, Hermann Maier or Aksel Lund Svindal? Not at all. It is Franz Klammer.
The Austrian first showed signs of promise when aged just 19 he finished second in the St Anton downhill behind the reigning Olympic and World Cup downhill champion, Bernhard Russi of Switzerland.
In 1973 and 20 years of age he triumphed at Schladming on one of the toughest tracks on the circuit.
It was the start of an incredible career. The Austrian quickly became the man to beat winning eight of nine races the following winter.
He was the favourite to clinch gold in the 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck in his native Austria. By then he was the defending World Cup downhill champion. He did not disappoint the home crowd and took gold.
“Kaiser Franz” as he was nicknamed won a total of 25 World Cup downhills – four times at Kitzbuhel.
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