Associated Press2 minute chapter
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 won his last race of the season, the giant slalom final at the World Championships, by a massive 2.11 seconds over second-placed Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.
The victory brought Odermatti’s total score to 2,042 points and surpassed the previous mark of 2,000 points set by Austrian Hermann Maier in the 1999-2000 season.
“Sorry, Hermann,” Odermatt grinned in a posttrace interview with Austrian TV, adding that the record meant “a lot” to him.
“The last few days I always said: no no, not that important, just numbers,” Odermatt said. “But the way I felt today, when the pressure was on, I knew it was more important than I said. I’m very happy that it worked.”
Last week, Maier wrote on his website that he hoped Odermatti would overtake him.
“In my eyes, Marco hasn’t even reached his peak and can still improve, especially downhill,” Maier said.
In theory, Odermatti has a chance to add even more points in Sunday’s season finale slalom, but he has never competed in that event at the World Cup level.
The overall record between men and women is held by Slovenia’s Tina Maze, who collected 2,414 points when she won the overall women’s title in 2013.
Odermatt, who is an Olympic champion, achieved the second best mark with his 13th win of the season. No male skier has ever won more races in a single campaign, with only Maier, Ingemar Stenmark and Marcel Hirscher previously achieving that feat.
The overall record for wins in a season is held by Mikaela Shiffrin, who won 17 times on her way to the 2018-19 women’s overall competition.
Odermatt had already successfully defended his overall title and secured the super-G and giant slalom globes.
“I was looking forward to the final without any pressure, but today I felt that pressure again,” he said. “It wasn’t easy today. I was nervous again because of those damn 2000 points. Now with another win, over 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 lap, finishing 1.09 seconds faster than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier fell to eighth place.
Kristoffersen only finished eighth after the opening stage before moving up to second place. Austria’s Marco Schwarz finished third after 2.29.