Canada's Erik Read rules final run of giant slalom to place 10th in Italy

·3 min read

Erik Read of Canmore, Alta., posted the fastest second-run time in a men's giant slalom Saturday, quicker than overall World Cup leader Alexis Pinturault and defending overall champion Alexander Aamodt Kilde to finish 10th.

The 29-year-old Read clocked one minute 9.84 seconds, lifting the Canadian from 23rd spot in the Italian Alps. Last week, he placed 12th in parallel slalom in Lech, Austria.

"The conditions were not easy at all today. Snow accumulating on the goggles, some gates on firm snow, others it felt more like skiing through powder," Read told Alpine Canada.

"I [cleaned] up my skiing, carried speed, and kept a high line on the few turns with bad snow in the second set. Really happy today, especially winning a World Cup run for the first time."

WATCH | Erik Read dominates 2nd run in Italian Alps:

Calgary's Trevor Philp, who entered Saturday ranked 25th in the world in GS, finished 18th.

Vancouver's Riley Seger, who joined his teammates in Europe recently after a training block with the speed group in Canada, didn't qualify for his second run. After this weekend, Seger is scheduled to travel to Zinal, Switzerland to join Kyle Alexander of North Vancouver, B.C., and Vancouver's Sam Mulligan at the European Cup.

Filip Zubcic, who prevailed at a giant slalom in Japan in February, had a blistering second run in dense snowfall in the Italian Alps to edge half-time leader Zan Kranjec for his second career World Cup victory.

Racing in flat light, the Croatian skier was almost seven-tenths off the lead after the opening run but posted the second-fastest time in the final and beat Kranjec by 0.12 seconds.

"The slope was really difficult," Zubcic said. "[It's] snowing, but I skied really good. I had a lot of trainings in conditions like these so for me it was quite normal. I am a really strong skier, I have the power and that's why when the conditions are tough, I can ski really fast."

WATCH | Croatia's Filip Zubcic earns 2nd World Cup win:

Swiss duo Marco Odermatt and Loic Meillard finished third and fourth, respectively.

Pinturault was eight-tenths off the lead in fifth.

The Norwegian team struggled in the difficult conditions.

Kilde finished 1.31 behind in ninth; giant slalom world champion Henrik Kristoffersen placed 22nd after he only just avoided a crash in his second run; and Lucas Braathen was 1.86 behind in 12th.

The 20-year-old Braathen became the youngest winner of a World Cup race in six years when he won the season-opening GS in Soelden in October.

Course workers cleared the slope of up to 80 centimetres of fresh snow during the night.

The event was moved from Val d'Isere because of a lack of snow in the French resort. Santa Caterina di Valfurva, in the northern Italian province of Sondrio, hasn't held a World Cup race since 2016.

Another men's GS is scheduled for Sunday.