ALTA BADIA, Italy (AP)– Alexis Pinturault led the traditional men’s World Cup giant slalom on the Gran Risa course after the opening run Sunday.

The Frenchman mastered the high and technically requiring course in the Italian Alps to lead Filip Zubcic of Croatia by 0.26 seconds.

Marco Odermatt, who won the previous GS two weeks ago to end up being the first Swiss winner in the discipline in almost ten years, was 3rd and had four tenths to make up in the second run.

Pinturault collected 14 of his 30 profession World Cup wins in GS but is yet to reach the podium this season.

The 3 races so far had three various winners– Lucas Braathen, Zubcic, and Odermatt. The Norwegian was 0.51 back in fourth.

” It was an excellent run, no huge mistakes, good rhythm. And we have worked a lot on my product,” Pinturault stated.

The Frenchman stated he gained from the course conditions, with grippy snow on an icy surface.

A win Sunday would likely see the Frenchman return to the top of the general standings.

Pinturault lost his lead in the rankings to Aleksander Aamodt Kilde after the Norwegian published back-to-back wins in speed races in close-by Val Gardena on Friday and Saturday.

Kilde had 1.03 seconds to comprise on Pinturault in the 2nd leg. His Norwagian colleague and World Cup GS champ, Henrik Kristoffersen, was 0.81 off the lead.

Pinturault routed Kilde by 54 points last season, when the staying six races were canceled because of the coronavirus break out.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports