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Pinturault comes from behind to win World Cup combined event

December 29, 2019 GMT
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France's Alexis Pinturault competes during the slalom portion of an alpine ski, men's World Cup combined in Bormio, Italy, Sunday Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)
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France's Alexis Pinturault competes during the slalom portion of an alpine ski, men's World Cup combined in Bormio, Italy, Sunday Dec. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

BORMIO, Italy (AP) — Alexis Pinturault used his slalom skills to come from behind and win a men’s World Cup Alpine combined event on Sunday.

The world champion was only in 12th place and 0.97 seconds behind leader Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway following the super-G portion of the event, but the Frenchman had the fastest time in the slalom part.

Pinturault won by 0.51 seconds ahead of Kilde, while Loic Meillard of Switzerland was another five hundredths further back in third.

Pinturault, who hurt his left thigh in a parallel giant slalom Monday, earned his ninth career World Cup victory in the discipline, and 26th overall.

The Frenchman has been regarded a main contender for the overall title since record eight-time champion Marcel Hirscher retired in the offseason.

By finishing second, Kilde went top of the overall standings with 474 points, 20 clear of Dominik Paris.

Paris won back-to-back downhills on the Stelvio the past two days and was just 0.03 behind in second after the super-G run Sunday. But a disappointing slalom run saw the Italian drop to 26th.

Crashes caused several delays to the super-G portion, most notably when Austria’s Christopher Neumayer had to be transported off the hill by helicopter with an apparent knee injury.

It was the first Alpine combined event since a rule change for the starting order, as the fastest racers from super-G run got the favorable early start positions for the concluding slalom leg.

Hannes Reichelt missed the race after injuring his right knee in a crash in Saturday’s downhill. The 39-year-old Austrian was ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL and a fracture of the knee joint capsule.

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