After 2 events finished in Beaver Creek, men will compete in Giant Slalom event on 2nd of December. This will mark the 1st Giant Slalom event of the season after the first one in Sölden being canceled due to heavy snow and high winds.
Looking at the last event, which took place on 1st December in Beaver Creek, we saw a crowded podium with 5 people on it. Max Franz was the fastest out of 5, winning the 1st Super-G event of his career and 3rd win in all events. Looking in the past, Max Franz does not have the best memories of the Birds of Prey, as he has suffered many crashes at this slope, however this time it was him who came out on top. The Austrian was 0.33s faster than Mauro Caviezel, who achieved his 3rd podium in 3 consecutive events this season, which was also his 4th podium in his career. At the third place, we saw 3 athletes; Aksel Lund Svindal, Dominik Paris and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. This was the first time in 12 years, where we saw 3 athletes tied on the podium (2006; Vonn, Styger, Dorfmeister). They were all +0.41 behind Max Franz.
As for most recent Giant Slalom for men, there was no other giant slalom event this season, so we will only briefly look at last seasons Giant slalom event in Are on 17th March 2018, which was also the last race of the season. In the mentioned event, it was Marcel Hirscher who celebrated the 58th win of his career. The race itself did not change much on the overall or giant slalom standings, as Hirscher was already well ahead of his opponents. At the 2nd place, we saw Henrik Kristoffersen who was +0.23s slower than Hirscher. The third place belonged to Victor Muffat-Jeandet (+0.26). These three athletes were well ahead of other competitors. Loic Millard was +0.68s behind the winner at 4th place, whereas 5th place and up were all over a second too slow.
So what to expect this season? Will we see Hirscher domination once more, or will it be Kristoffersen who will finally get to defeat Hirscher? Or maybe an underdog will surprise us all, just like it happened in women’s downhill races?
Marcel Hirscher already has 5 giant slalom Crystal Globes with his name on them and will look for the 6th this season to add to the collection. He, however, is still 3 Crystal globes short of an all-time record (Ingemar Stenmark; 8). Despite being far from the all-time record of 8 crystal globes, he can become the 2nd man to win the giant slalom crystal globe in at least 5 successive seasons.
Up until now, Hirscher has won 59 world cup races, one of which in the first race of the season in Sölden (slalom). This puts him at 4th place of all-time world cup wins, behind Annemarie Moser-Pröl (62), Lindsey Vonn (82) and Ingemar Stenmark (86). Out of 59 wins, almost half came from giant slalom races (28). He is without a doubt the best giant slalom skier as of now, and the fact that he won 9 out of last 10 giant slalom races only proves that point. At the moment he is on a 5 giant slalom race winning streak and 15 giant slalom podium finishes. In Beaver Creek, he has won 8 giant slalom races and I would not be surprised if he does so again today.
Henrik Kristoffersen is living in Hirschler’s shadow, as he has finished 2nd in slalom, giant slalom and overall standings, all behind Marcel Hirscher. Not only that but he also finished 2nd at the Olympic games, behind no other than Marcel Hirscher. Kristoffersen seemingly always comes short of winning a race. He finished on the podium in giant slalom 13 times! His last giant slalom win came over 3 years ago in Meribel in March 2015. As for last year, he has only won one race in Kitzbüehl (slalom).
Alexis Pinturault finished last year at the 3rd place in giant slalom standings, well behind Hirscher (391 points) and 2nd placed Henrik Kristoffersen (246 points). In his career, he has won 21 races and 2 crystal globes in alpine combined (2016 and 2017). As of now, his best overall standing was 3rd in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Looking at his giant slalom standings, he finished 3rd in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, and 2nd in 2015 and 2016. This is by far the most top 3 finished in giant slalom standings without a crystal globe. But who can blame him? Hirscher has been a dominant force in giant slalom for a few years now. This season will represent another chance for this French skier to try and get the well-deserved crystal globe, but the competition is strong and he will need to approach it to step by step, with the first step being today in Beaver Creek.
|Market||Prediction||Pinnacle Odds||Bet 365 Odds||Stake||Won / Lost|
|Outright||Marcel Hirscher||1.66||1.66||2 Units||Lost|