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Alpine skiing: Pinturault heads field after super-combined slalom

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

French tyro Alexis Pinturault topped the slalom leg of the men's World Cup super-combined on Friday, with the downhill to be raced later in the day.

Pinturault clocked 49.94 seconds, an impressive 1.22sec ahead of first runner Ted Ligety of the United States.

"I'm pretty satisfied," said the 22-year-old Pinturault. "I tried to distance myself as much as possible because the downhill will be more complicated."

Croatia's Natko Zrncic-Dim was in third at 1.50sec, followed by France's Thomas Mermillod Blondin (+1.70), Austrian Romed Baumann (+2.15) and Switzerland's Sandro Viletta (+2.90).

American veteran Bode Miller was in seventh place at 3.43sec, but will nonetheless fancy his chances of making the podium on a slope where he has previously claimed two downhill victories and one in the super-combined with four other podium placings.

"I ran first so that was an advantage," said Miller's teammate Ligety. "The snow was pretty bad up there.

"It's going to be difficult for the downhill skiers to have any chance.

"It was not really as good a slalom as I was hoping for. I'm in an okay position, I guess, there's still a buffer."

Croatia's Ivica Kostelic had a day to forget, straddling a gate high up the course, meaning he would not be able to bid for a third victory in the discipline having already won here in 2011 and 2012.

The downhill is scheduled to start at 1300 GMT.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140117/alpine-skiing-pinturault-heads-field-after-super-combined-slalom