Odermatt wins the Soldeu giant and sets the men's points record in the Corriere.it World Cup

Odermatt wins the Soldeu giant and sets the men's points record in the Corriere.it World Cup

Of Flavio Vanetti

With his success on the snow in the state of Andorra, the Swiss champion reached 2042 against the 2000 record set by Hermann Maier 23 years ago

Marco Odermatt, the new monarch of skiing, now unstoppable and insatiable. In the giant finals in Soldeu he put the icing on a season that has only one flaw: it won't be easy even for him to repeat it. The new pearl is the record for points in a single season at the men's level: with the success on the snow of the state of Andorra, the Swiss champion reached 2042. Thus, 23 years later, he bypassed the 2000 that the Austrian Hermann Herminator Maier obtained… in 2000, in the sign of a curious coincidence between year and score. But that's not all: the just twenty-five Odermatt - who in this unforgettable 2022/2023 won the second overall World Cup, the second giant cup, the first in super-G plus world gold in downhill and giant - equaled the record of seasonal victories which in addition to Maier belonged to Marcel Hirscher and Ingemar Stenmark and finally tied the number of podiums (22) of Herminator himself.

In short, a serial cannibal who feasted on his rivals even in Soldeu, where, just to please, he had won the super-G. The lesson given between the wide doors is something memorable, not so much for the huge rejects inflicted on the rivals (the Norwegian Kristoffersen, second, closed at 2''11; the Austrian Schwarz, third, at 2''29) as for the attitude: after having already beaten in the first heat, the King didn't limit himself to administering the advantage but went on the attack as if he had to come back. What did he want to prove? That a champion is never satisfied and that winning big doesn't mean humiliating your opponents, but rather a way to honor them. Just to raise the bar, then, Marco will be able from now on to set his sights on the absolute record for points in the white circus. He belongs to a woman, Tina Maze: the Slovenian champion in 2013 collected 2414 points, with 11 victories and 24 podiums. How can Odermatt hope to attack her? Having said that this year he missed the two giants of Schladming because he had suffered a slight injury in the downhill at Kitz, the hunt for absolute primacy passes from further growth in free climbing: but since he is the reigning world champion, there are margins .

In this royal context, Italy has also carved out its own space. Small, but significant: in a discipline that has been problematic for some time (apart from the 2021 world championship Luca De Aliprandini), we concluded the season with two top ten finishes: Filippo Della Vite with a second descent at full throttle finished seventh and the aforementioned De Aliprandini was ninth after closing the initial heat in sixth place. Della Vite, millennial of 2001, by far the best blue note on the gigantist front: Bergamo's first season in the World Cup it has developed under the banner of continuity, with placings always in the top 15 and recently also among the top 10 and increasingly close to the positions of excellence. Pippo seems close to making a leap in quality: the next year could be the turning point for him.

Finally, the women's slalom. The last round of the year saw the Slovak return to victory Petra Vlhova (in a disappointing year for her she had only been first in January in Flachau), who preceded the Croatian Leona Popovic, to the first podium of her career. Mikaela Shiffrin this time he had to settle for third place: a narrow shoe for a dominatrix, even if it is true that lately he seems more on the ball in giant than between the rapid gates. In any case, Mikaela made a serious mistake in the first heat (she finished fourth) and in the second her comeback substantially did not arrive: the position earned depended on the cross of the world champion, the Canadian St-Germain. Mikaela will thus try to touch up her absolute record of victories in the World Cup (87) in the giant slalom on Sunday the 19th; but this placement in her slalom still allowed her to equal the number of podium finishes of Lindsey Vonn (137): a champion of his level hardly closes empty-handed.

March 18, 2023 (change March 18, 2023 | 14:28)

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