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First Men's World Cup GS Race Won By Favored Frenchman

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There are some out there that would say they called this one before he took to the starting gate. Favored to take the day, French skier Alexis Pinturault took a first-place finish in the Audi FIS World Cup season opener for the Men in Soelden, Austria.

Pinturault was quick to take the lead, sitting in first place after the first run. In second was his French teammate Mathieu Faivre, who was only 0.02 seconds off the lead time after that first run. Faivre would remain in second at the end of the day, just 0.54 behind Pinturault.

Rounding out the podium for the opening race was Slovenian racer Zan Kranjec. He was able to push through to third place finishing 0.63 seconds off the lead time. Kranjec was able to capitalize on a costly mistake made by Swiss skier Marco Odermatt, which sent Odermatt to 13th.

Many of the athletes, including Odermatt, were having issues with the course during the day. The increasingly sunny skies continued to cast large shadows on the course, making it much harder for the racers to see and negotiate the course.

The fourth and fifth places, like the French duo in first and second, were held by American teammates Ted Ligety and Tommy Ford. Both men improved their times by close to a full second on their second runs, but not able to take a podium finish this time.

For winner Alexis Pinturault, this win marks his 24th World Cup victory, as well as his 12th career win in giant slalom. Of the race yesterday, Pinturault said "It was really fantastic. I had two solid runs. It was really hard on the second run we couldn't see anything on the piste."

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