Comeback king Filip Zubcic has Alexis Pinturault in his sights after battling from behind to notch a Giant Slalom World Cup hat-trick in Bansko.
Zubcic leapfrogged Janica Kostelic as the most successful Croat of all-time in the event as a third career World Cup victory cut the gap on Pinturault at the summit of the Giant Slalom standings.
Pinturault finished fourth in Bulgaria and Zubcic, who lay second behind new world champion Mathieu Faivre after the first run, says he's got eyes on the World Cup prize.
Alpine Skiing
'I’m trying to decide' - Shiffrin to make Winter Olympics decision
30/03/2021 AT 10:29
The 28-year-old, now just 22 points behind Pinturault in the GS standings, said: "It was an incredible race, incredible skiing. I'm so happy and proud of myself and my team.
"I'm really happy that I did it here in Bansko because I really like this slope and the people here.
"I'm always fighting for the top position. Pinturault is an incredible skier and we have three more races to go - so let's see."
Austria's Stefan Brennsteiner pipped Pinturault to the final spot on the podium as the Giant Slalom leader - who also tops the overall World Cup standings - struggled in the seventh event of the season.
He completed runs of 1:08.60 and 1:13.80 while Zubcic, a World Championship parallel silver medallist in Cortina d'Ampezzo this year, showed all his resilience to overhaul Faivre's early lead.
The Croat trailed by 0.11s after the first run but completed a brilliant second of 1:12.14 to usurp the Frenchman and pile the pressure on his compatriot Pinturault.
Zubcic soared to Giant Slalom glory in Santa Caterina in December but watched Pinturault, 29, notch a stunning double in Adelboden last month.
Pinturault remains more than 200 points clear in the overall table but Zubcic has a great chance in the Giant Slalom, with another race scheduled for tomorrow and the final two taking place in Kranjska Gora and Lenzerheide next month.
Switzerland's Marco Odermatt, who finished fifth in Bansko, lies 23 points behind Zubcic in third in the GS World Cup table.
Alpine Skiing
World Cup wrap: New era finally here after season where anything was possible
23/03/2021 AT 19:38
Lenzerheide
Feller powers to slalom success at Lenzerheide as Grange bows out
21/03/2021 AT 14:43