Ski World Cup: Pinturault wins in France to increase pressure on Hirscher

France's Alexis Pinturault wins the men's giant slalom in Val d'Isere.

Story highlights

  • Pinturault wins men's giant slalom
  • Worley skis to victory in Italy

(CNN)Alexis Pinturault held of fierce competition from Marcel Hirscher to win his eighth career giant slalom, and heap the pressure on his Austrian rival at the top of the Ski World Cup standings.

The Frenchman dominated on the Face de Bellevarde course in his homeland to record his 17th World Cup victory, beating the French grand slalom record -- set the by the legendary Jean-Claude Killy -- in the process.
Pinturault's win was made all the more impressive after the 25-year-old admitted his badly bruised right hand -- suffered after a fall in training Thursday -- was causing him a lot of discomfort in the warmup.
"Even this morning it was extremely difficult for me to hold the pole," Pinturault told reporters at the Val d'Isere resort. "But I gritted my teeth and I practically didn't feel it over the two runs.

@alexispinturault finally grabbed his first GS win on "La Face" at @valdisere !

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"I wanted to be on the podium today and I am on the top, so, perfect. It was difficult because in the warmup I had so many problems with my hand and, finally with adrenaline, the pain went."
After the day's first run, Pinturault held a 0.67-second lead over Hirscher and, despite having his advantage cut by more than half in the second run, still finished a third of a second ahead of the defending champion.
It was Pinturault's second win of the season following his victory in the giant slalom season-opening race in Soelden, Austria, although Hirscher remains 76 points clear at the top of the overall standings.
"The only thing I can say is that my first run was definitely not what I was expecting," the five-time champion said after his second run.
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"I had a really great feeling before this race and the first run was a really big 'wow' effect for myself, but the second run was way better.
"I tried my best and finally reached the podium again and I'm very happy with today's result in general but I'm a little bit p****d off about the first run."

Worley wins at Sestriere

Over in Italy, a nail-biting giant slalom unfolded, as France's Tessa Worley edged out Lara Gut by 0.15 seconds to win her second grand slalom of the season.
After the first run, a top four of Mikaela Shiffrin, Tina Weirather Gut and Worely were separated by just five hundredths of a second.
Worley revealed after the second run that she had watched compatriot Pinturault ski to victory in France and was inspired to emulate his result.
"It feels really awesome," the 27-year-old told FIS Ski. "It's great to be able to ski just like you're used to doing in training and just have to think about pushing really hard in the races.
"And that was clearly the only thing that I needed to think about today because all the girls were fighting very hard. It was a tight race, so I'm happy I won it."
Worley's win sees her move to fifth in the overall standings, while Shiffrin holds an eight-point lead over Gut at the top.