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Local hero Pinturault revels in combined gold on home snow

Updated: 2023-02-09 10:19
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France's Alexis Pinturault celebrates on the podium after winning the men's alpine combined at FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Meribel, France February 7, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

OURCHEVEL, France - Alexis Pinturault put two misfiring years, including a sole World Cup podium this season, firmly behind him as he sealed a dream gold in the World Ski Championships on home snow on Tuesday.


Pinturault is a child of Courchevel, his parents owning two upmarket hotels in the swanky French resort built by his grandfather.

And the crowds turned out en masse to watch the 31-year-old local hero. He did not disappoint as he bagged a second world combined title after previously winning in 2019.

"It was really special, a really great atmosphere. It feels very special to be here for me," Pinturault said.

A packed stand around the finish area was awash with his fans, cowbells ringing and French flags waving.

"To share this with the French people and the Courchevel people is something very special for me," he added.

Pinturault belied his stuttering World Cup season -- a third in the Beaver Creek super-G his only podium -- as he set the fastest time in the combined's opening super-G before nailing a solid slalom run for victory.

"I knew it would be difficult to make a great race and be on the podium because if you look back at my races in the World Cup this season they haven't been good so it would already be a good achievement if I got a medal," he said.

"I've had these world championships in my head since a really long time and I really wanted to give my best at this time.

"I wanted to give my best but there is a huge difference between giving the best and being able to be on the podium."

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