Odermatt seals Slovenia slalom to cut Pinturault's overall lead

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Productive day for Odermatt in Slovenia

Marco Odermatt won Saturday's giant slalom in Slovenia to cut Alexis Pinturault's lead in the overall World Cup standings to 31 points.

The Swiss skier, fourth and trailing by 0.61sec behind Loic Meillard after the first leg in Kranjska Gora, made the most of sunny benign conditions to excel in the second run and prevail by 1.06sec.

Meillard took second for a Swiss 1-2 from Stefan Brennsteiner at 1.09, the Austrian denying Pinturault for third spot by two hundredths of a second.

World champion Mathieu Faivre came in fifth.

"I didn't think I'd be so quick on the second go, I didn't ski that well on the first run, I just tried to attack it to the limit," said the 23-year-old winner with a broad smile.

As well as enhancing his big crystal globe prospects Odermatt displaced Pinturault at the top of the discipline standings which he now leads by 25 points with one giant slalom remaining in Lenzerheide next week.

"It's a hammer blow," commented a downbeat Pinturault.

"I'm starting to get a little fed up of theses hundredths of a second falling on the wrong side."

Pinturault will be back on the Slovenian slope again on Sunday hoping to widen the gap in the slalom, the fifth last event of the season, with Odermatt absent.

"I'm expecting a lot from this slalom, it will be important," added Pinturault.

Odermatt forecast "an almighty battle" for the overall title.

"With two slaloms to go he (Pinturault) has a slight advantage, we'll see how he gets on tomorrow."

rg/nr/lp