Canadian James Crawford was crowned super-G world champion to everyone’s surprise on Thursday in Courchevel, ahead of Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, who won his second medal in as many races.
A bronze medalist in the combined at the Beijing Olympics last year, Crawford gleaned his first world medal without ever having won a World Cup event, while favorite Marco Odermatt finished fourth.
Crawford, a 25-year-old skier, had never even managed to do better than sixth place this season in super-G, in Bormio (Italy). His best performance in this discipline, he achieved in Kvitfjell (Norway) last year by finishing second. His only super-G podium.
Leader of the France team, Pinturault continues his superb fortnight in the world, which he began with the title acquired in the combined on Tuesday, in the village where he partly grew up.
The surprise created by Crawford is all the greater since two skiers reigned supreme in this discipline this winter: the Swiss Marco Odermatt and Kilde.
Considered the two best alpine skiers in the world, Odermatt and Kilde have shared the World Cup super-G victories this season, with an advantage for the Swiss, who won four when his best enemy Norway pocketed two.
Kilde can however be satisfied with his first world medal, two years after having had to give up, injured, at the World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy).