As ever, Odermatt had to dig deep for this achievement. The first run was set as technical as possible in an attempt to catch him out. But the Swiss amply demonstrated that he is not just about sheer speed, carving his arcs neatly to take a 0.28 second lead into the endgame.
That second run was laid out by the Swiss coach, made straight and fast to play to the 25-year-old’s assets.
Nevertheless, Alexis Pinturault (FRA), resurgent over recent weeks after an ordinary season by his standards, and a thunderous second ski from Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), turned up the pressure for the last man down.
All three contenders made errors on a rutted piste. Odermatt endured an urgent, scrappy mid-section, but retained enough speed to climb to the top of the podium again. Kristoffersen was second (+0.32), with Pinturault third (+0.70).
“It’s crazy, I can’t really believe that,” said Odermatt. “I was very happy with the first run in a very turny course. It was another hard battle today in the second run. It wasn’t good at the top.
“I made mistakes just before the second flat, I thought ‘oh, this is going to be tight’. So I really risked it all, and it worked out. I pushed on the lower sections and was a little bit surprised and super relieved to see the green lights.
“It is always difficult, it is always a big fight, you always have to get in a race mood. This must have been my 40th run this season at the highest level. To always get into that mood and try to deliver is very hard.”
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