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Odermatt sweeps to super-G victory

·2-min read
On the hunt: Marco Odermatt donned a face mask after winning in Saalbach to continue his pursuit of World Cup globes

Marco Odermatt continued his late-season surge with a dominant victory in the World Cup super-G in Saalbach, Austria, on Sunday.

The Swiss skier won in 1 minute, 23.59 seconds, 0.62sec ahead of surprising Frenchman Matthieu Bailet.

Austrian world champion Vincent Kriechmayr was third 0.83sec behind Odermatt.

The victory was only Odermatt's second in the World Cup this season but extended a recent run of podium finishes in the super-G and giant slalom.

"It was right on the edge, many difficult gates," Odermatt said. "I skied all of them really well and I'm really happy with the victory."

Bailet climbed onto a World Cup podium for the first time.

"I usually watch the ceremonies as a spectator," the 24-year-old said. "Here I enjoyed every moment: when they pronounced my name, the champagne with the other two. It's joy, euphoria, satisfaction, pride, it's a little kid's dream come true."

He gained 85 points on the leader in the overall standings, Alexis Pinturault. The French slalom specialist leads in the chase for the big globe with 1,050 points to Odermatt's 969. There are six races to go:one downhill, one super-G, two giant slaloms, two slaloms.

They will meet next week-end in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) in a giant slalom and a slalom.

"The positions are tightening, it is normal, Marco is in good form," said Pinturault. "The battle will be tight until the end. I'm still ahead, I just have to concentrate on what I can do."

Odermatt also prevented Kriechmayr clinching the small globe for the super-G, closing to 83 points with one race left, in the season-ending meeting at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Austrian Matthias Mayer, who was seventh on Sunday, and Swiss skier Mauro Caviezel who was only 36th, can no longer catch Kriechmayr.