After a 6 day “break”, FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup is back, this time in Val d’Isere, France where Men will compete in the 2nd Giant Slalom race of the season.
Val d’Isere is located in the southeastern part of France, more specifically in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region, only 5km from the Italy border. The famous French ski slope has seen it’s first race 50 years ago (1968) and will continue hosting the FIS World Cup events in the future. In addition to the World Cup races, this venue also saw downhill, super-G and Giant slalom race in 1992 Winter Olympic games and FIS Alpine World Ski Championship in 2009. The Val d’Isere commune has a rich history, which dates back to before Roman times. The territory is shared by France, Switzerland and Italy, which only adds to its diversity. However, I won’t go into much detail about the region, as it’s not important for this article. Rather, we will focus on the last race in this venue, but first, let’s take a look at how the last Giant Slalom race for men went.
The most recent race in Giant Slalom for men was also their most recent race this season. It took place at Beaver Creek on 2nd December 2018, it was also the last event in the USA for men this season. In the end, it was Stefan Luitz who celebrated his 1st career win after finishing on the giant slalom podium 6 times. In the second place, 0.14s slower, it was Marcel Hirscher who achieved his 2nd podium finish this season. Third place belonged to Thomas Tumler (+0.51) who achieved the first podium finish of his career.
Looking at Val d’Isere Giant Slalom race last season, that took place on 9th of December 2017, we saw the local hero, Alexis Pinturault who won a back-to-back race in giant slalom (2016,2017). With the time of 1:51.18, he was 0.28s faster than Stefan Luitz and over half a second (+0.54) faster than Marcel Hirscher. With that, Marcel Hirscher was 0.28s too slow to set a new record of 5 wins in Val d’Isere Giant Slalom races. Anyhow, he will have another chance on 8th of December. Now let’s look at the favourites to win 2018/19 season Giant Slalom race in Val d’Isere and our predictions.
With 1 win in the opening event in Levi (slalom) and the 2nd place in Beaver Creek (giant slalom), the last years overall, giant slalom and slalom champion Marcel Hirscher in a better position that he was last season at the start of December. Still, the season has barely started and he has a lot of work to do if he wishes to repeat his success from last season. With the 2nd place in Beaver Creek, he has failed to win his 6th consecutive Giant Slalom race but is still holding an impressive 16 podium finishes in the last 16 giant slalom races, which translates to him standing on the podium for each race since St. Moritz giant slalom race in 2016, when he finished 5th. As of now, this is the 2nd highest record of consecutive podiums in GS since Ingemar Stenmark (22 podiums) from 1977-1980. He is also trailing Stenmark in total giant slalom wins, with 28 wins, whereas Ingemar Stenmark has 46. Looking at his performances in Val d’Isere, Hirscher holds a record of 4 wins here along with Michael von Grüniger, however, if we count 3 podium finishes (two 2nd places and one 3rd place), Hirscher is the most successful skier in the French ski resort. After being defeated by Pinturault in the last 2 events here, Hirscher will look to win his 5th giant slalom and 6th win in all disciplines in Val’d Isere, and we believe this is highly likely to happen. The odds offered on Hirscher to win are fair, and we will be backing him up to set a new record of 5 wins here.
Stefan Luitz has achieved the 1st win of his career last week in Beaver Creek, after achieving 6 podiums in Giant Slalom. Out of his currently 7 podium finishes, 3 of them came from Val d’Isere giant slalom events (2012, 2013 and 2018). With 1 giant slalom race win with his name on it, he can join Max Reiger and Felix Neureuther as one of the 3 German skiers who won multiple giant slalom events. Despite his good performance in Beaver Creek, we do not believe he will win in this event. The podium finish is possible, but the odds offered are too low for us to bet on him.
Alex Pinturault was the only one besides Marcel Hirscher who managed to win last year’s giant slalom event. Not only that, but he won in Val d’Isere (GS) for the 2nd consecutive year. With 10 World Cup giant slalom wins, he is just 1 short of reaching the 8th all-time record of 11 wins in giant slalom, in addition, he is just 1 World Cup win short of reaching 22, which will tie him with a French record of 22 World Cup wins in all events held by Carole Merle. On the other hand, with his 46 podium finishes in all disciplines, he already holds a French record. As for the upcoming event, we believe Alexis Pinturault is capable of achieving a good result, but we do not believe he will manage to beat Hirscher. A podium finish would be a good bet, but the odds offered are too low for it to be considered.
|Market||Prediction||Pinnacle Odds||Bet 365 Odds||Stake||Won / Lost|
|Outright||Marcel Hirscher||1.854||2.00||2 Units||Won|