Marco Odermatt was absent as a precaution (left knee affected) but Switzerland still reigns over the giant. Wednesday evening under the spotlights of the Planai, Loïc Meillard won his first World Cup race in the specialty, ahead of his compatriot Gino Caviezel (+0”59). It was already the leading duo after the first run. For his part, the Austrian Marco Schwarz took 3rd place (+0.81), his first podium as a giant, after setting the best time in the second heat.
Meillard (26), a superb all-round skier with impeccable technique, managed to win for the first time in a race where he closed the gate. He had already won once in the World Cup, in Chamonix in parallel three years ago.
Schwarz, injured in the left ankle in November 2021 when some specialists saw him as a possible winner of the big globe, has returned to an excellent level in recent weeks (6th in downhill at Wengen for his debut in the discipline!), and signs his first podium in the World Cup for two years and his 3rd place in slalom in Chamonix. He beat two Norwegians, Alexander Steen Olsen and Henrik Kristoffersen, on Wednesday evening.
On the French side, Alexis Pinturault takes 7th place (+1”66) after a decent second run, but is still far from the best in a specialty where he has 18 World Cup successes. Mathieu Faivre, reigning world champion, finished 17th (+2”81).