YUZAWA, Japan (AP) Alexis Pinturault led a 1-2 finish for France in the men's World Cup giant slalom on Saturday.
Pinturault, who was second after the first run, used a blistering second run of 1 minute, 17.78 seconds to finish 0.51 ahead of compatriot Mathieu Faivre. Massimiliano Blardone of Italy was third, 0.67 off the pace.
''The race was not easy,'' Pinturault said. ''It was quite bumpy on the second run and there were some gates you had to control and some gates you had to attack.''
Fritz Dopfer of Germany led after the first run but dropped down to seventh after a second effort of 1:19.75.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who leads the giant slalom standings, was sixth, 1.31 seconds back.
It was the first giant slalom win of the season for Pinturault.
''Giant slalom is my best discipline,'' Pinturault said. ''I would like to improve in slalom and Super G but giant slalom is where I have my most podiums. I'm more a technical guy than a speed guy.''
Saturday's giant slalom was the first since Dec. 21 after two races in January were cancelled due to warm weather.
It was the first World Cup podium for Faivre.
''I'm very happy with the first podium,'' Faivre said. ''I've been getting closer with a lot of Top 10 finishes so it's nice to finally break through. As Alexis said, it was not an easy race and it was quite bumpy on the second run.''
The next World Cup event is a slalom event on Sunday at the same venue.