(Adelboden) Insolent with ease, the Swiss Marco Odermatt played through the fog on Saturday to achieve a third consecutive victory in the giant slalom of Adelboden, in front of his audience, despite the excellent performance of the Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Under a sky so cloudy that it forced the organizers to lower the start, the world No. 1 stunned the first round before overcoming, in the second, declining visibility and a track softened by snow.
At only 26 years old, “Odi” offers himself a 29th World Cup success, already the fifth this season in nine races, to move a little closer towards a third big globe in a row.
He is 1 sec 26 ahead of a surprising Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, for the first world podium of his career in a giant after a less sparkling start to the season than last year in speed, and by 1 sec 77 the Croatian Filip Zubcic.
“It’s incredible, and the race really wasn’t easy,” said Odermatt, who triumphed in similar conditions in his first victory in the Bernese Oberland two years ago, as well as in of the Beijing 2022 Games giant.
Already leader in the provisional ranking of his three disciplines before Adelboden – the giant, the super-G and the downhill – Marco Odermatt now has a 272-point lead in the race for the big globe.
And as his immediate pursuer, the Austrian Marco Schwarz, had to end his season at the end of December due to a serious knee injury, he even holds a cushion of 416 points over Kilde, world No. 2 for the last two winters .
But by giving the Norwegian a standing ovation, the enthusiastic Adelboden crowd was not mistaken about the magnitude of the performance of this speed specialist, best downhiller of the last two seasons.
Kilde had already achieved three top 5s on the legendary Chuesnisbärgli (5th in 2020, the year of his big globe, and 4th then 5th during the two events of 2021), and confirms his progress between the stakes, the only way to hope to tease the Swiss genius in general.
“Marco remains in a class of his own,” admitted the Norwegian after the first round, while the two champions rarely miss an opportunity to salute their respective performances.
Their duel will continue from next Thursday in the neighboring Wengen valley, for two descents and a super-G.
The Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, also a three-time winner of the Adelboden giant, had given up at the start of the day to join his wife Romane, who was about to give birth to their first child.