France's Alexis Pinturault had his eyes on the gold in Courchevel / © AFP
France's Alexis Pinturault delighted his vociferous home Courchevel crowd on Tuesday when he won a second world title in the men's alpine combined.
The 31-year-old, who also won combined gold in 2019 worlds in Are, Sweden, delivered a combined masterclass down L'Eclipse piste in cold, sunny conditions for his sixth individual world medal.
The three-time Olympic medallist was also part of France's gold medal-winning squad in the team event in the 2017 worlds in St Moritz.
Pinturault, whose sole World Cup podium this season was a third place in the Beaver Creek super-G, set the fastest time in the morning's super-G, clocking an impressive 1min 08.25sec that saw him better many more established speed specialists.
The Frenchman then recorded the third-fastest slalom time for a winning aggregate of 1min 53.31sec, becoming the third racer representing France to win the world combined title on home snow after Emile Allais in Chamonix in 1937 and Jean-Claude Killy in Grenoble in 1968.
"It's amazing, especially after the beginning of the winter," said Pinturault. "It feels really great to be here, really great to be in Courchevel, in my home town, really great to see all these people cheering for the French team and also for me."
Pinturault, whose family own two upmarket hotels in the French resort, was followed in the super-G by defending world champion Marco Schwarz (at 0.06sec) and fellow Austrian Raphael Haaser (+0.14).
The Austrian pair retained their places with solid slalom runs, but it looked for one moment as if Schwarz was going to snatch victory in an event that has not been part of the World Cup calendar since the start of the 2020/21 season.
A large, partisan crowd, complete with French flags and cowbells, bellowed out La Marseille, groaning and cheering in equal measure as Schwarz's intermediary times flashed up on the board.
The Austrian, was in the green, which denotes the fastest time, high up as he charged hard, but paid for a mistake just a couple of gates from the finish, his time flashing up red -- and therefore behind 'Pintu' -- on the big screen to the delight of the raucous stands.
Pinturault, who also won combined silver and super-G bronze at the 2021 worlds, and giant slalom bronzes in 2015 and 2019, leapt from the 'leader's chair', punching the air with both hands and roaring his own approval.
Schwarz's efforts were enough for silver at 0.10sec, with Haaser (+0.44) mirroring sister Ricarda's bronze from the women's combined on Monday.
Loic Meillard led the charge for the Swiss team in the slalom after finishing 1.34sec behind Pinturault in the super-G.
That deficit proved to be too much to make up, despite a fine slalom run that took him to sixth, at 1.20sec, behind American River Radamus and Norway's Atle Lie McGrath.
Meillard's teammate and world number one Marco Odermatt was disqualified after going wide on a gate in the super-G.
Olympic champion Johannes Strolz was never in the running, the Austrian finishing well down in the super-G and then skiing out of the slalom.
Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished seventh in the super-G, but a right hand injury sustained in Kitzbuehel last month meant he did not compete in the slalom.
The men's programme at the biennial world championships continues with the super-G on Thursday.