Marco Odermatt raced through steady falling snow, making errors in his run, yet still won a World Cup giant slalom by almost one full second on Saturday.
The Olympic, world and World Cup champion in giant slalom is almost unbeatable in his favoured discipline and finished 0.98 seconds ahead of Marco Schwarz.
Joan Verdu, getting a best-ever World Cup result for the tiny principality of Andorra, was third trailing Odermatt by 1.32 seconds.
Odermatt extended his first-run lead on his decisive second run despite being at the limit of his balance at times.
“Many little mistakes,” Odermatt acknowledged. “Visibility was very, very flat. I struggled a bit on the top.”
WATCH l Odermatt wins giant slalom for 3rd-straight year at Val d’isere:
Canada’s Erik Read was 19th.
Storied resort Val d’Isere hosted its traditional early season meet days after learning it is unlikely to be in the venue plan for the 2030 Olympics that France is set to host. Courchevel and Meribel are instead favoured to stage Alpine skiing.
The 26-year-old Odermatt’s win tied Tomba on 15 career victories in World Cup giant slalom.
It was a 25th career World Cup win for the two-time defending overall World Cup champion.
Saturday’s event was just the second official race of the weather-affected men’s World Cup after a series of cancellations and the abandonment of the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden, Austria. Schwarz had been leading that race in October.