Associated Press2 minute reading
SOLDEU, Andorra — Marco Odermatt underlined his dominance in men’s cross-country skiing Saturday by breaking the 23-year-old men’s record for most World Cup points in a season.
The Swiss standout won his final race of the season, the giant slalom in the World Cup final, by a whopping 2.11 seconds ahead of second-placed Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen.
The win took Odermatt’s total to 2,042 points and surpassed the previous mark of 2,000 set by Austrian great Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.
“Sorry, Hermann,” Odermatt joked in an interview with Austrian TV, adding that the record means “a lot” to him.
“The past few days I always said: no no, it’s not that important, just the numbers,” Odermatt said. “But the way I felt today, with the pressure again, I knew it was more important than I said. I’m very happy it worked.”
Last week, Maier wrote on his website that he hoped Odermatt would overtake him.
“In my eyes, Marco has not yet reached his zenith and he can still improve, especially in the downhill,” said Maier.
Theoretically, Odermatt has a chance to add even more points in Sunday’s slalom at the end of the season, but he has never ridden the discipline at World Cup level.
The overall record, among men and women, is held by Slovenian standout Tina Maze, who collected 2,414 points when she won the women’s title in 2013.
Odermatt, who is an Olympic winner, equaled another best result with his 13th win of the season. No skier has ever won more races in a single campaign, with only Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher achieving the feat in the past.
The overall record for wins in a season is held by Mikaela Shiffrin, who won 17 times en route to the 2018-19 women’s overall title.
Odermatt has already successfully defended his overall title and secured globes in the super-G and giant slalom disciplines.
“I was looking forward to a final without pressure, but today I felt this pressure again,” he said. “It wasn’t easy today. I was nervous again about those damn 2000 points. Now with another win, more than two seconds ahead, I don’t know what to say.”
On Saturday, the Swiss posted the second-fastest time in his final run as he built on his clear lead from the first run, when he was 1.09 seconds faster than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier fell to eighth place.
Kristoffersen was only eighth after the first stage before moving up to second. Marco Schwarz of Austria finished 2.29 behind in third place.