SOLDEU, Andorra (AP) – Marco Odermatt underlined his dominance in men’s cross-country skiing Saturday by breaking a 23-year-old men’s record for most World Cup points in a single season.
The Swiss won his final race of the season, the giant slalom in the World Cup final, by a massive 2.11 seconds over runner-up Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway.
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 said in a post-race interview with Austrian TV, adding that the record meant “a lot” to him.
“For the past few days, I’ve always said: no, no, it’s not that important, just the numbers,” Odermatt said. “But as I felt the pressure again today, I knew it was more important than I said. I’m very happy that it worked out.”
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.
In theory, Odermatt had the chance to add even more points in Sunday’s end-of-season slalom, but was left out because he had never competed in the event at World Cup level.
The overall record, between men and women, is held by Slovenian standout Tina Maze, who scored 2,414 points when she won the overall women’s title in 2013.
Odermatt, who is the Olympic champion, achieved another best mark 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 here 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 the globes in the super-G and GS 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 2,000 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 a clear lead from the first run, when he was 1.09 seconds faster than Alexis Pinturault. The French skier then dropped to eighth place.
Kristoffersen was only eighth after the first leg before moving up to second. Marco Schwarz of Austria finished 2.29 behind in third place.
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