Hirscher storms to 60th World Cup win at Val d’Isere
VAL-D’ISERE: Austrian ace Marcel Hirscher stormed to his 60th World Cup win yesterday with victory in the men’s giant slalom at Val d’Isere. Despite continuous snowfall throughout the race, Hirscher held his nerve to coast to victory more than one second ahead of Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen.
Sweden’s Matts Olsson completed the podium after finishing 1.31sec behind in third. Hirscher, a two-time Olympic champion who has dominated the overall World Cup seven years in succession from 2012-2018, would have been forgiven for worrying about potential distractions prior to his win.
One was the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) investigation into German rival Stefan Luitz, whose maiden super-G win at Beaver Creek last week has since been marred by claims he illegally used oxygen between both runs.
If he is eventually disqualified, Hirscher, who finished second, will be handed the win. Another was the steady snowfall that left mushy snow on parts of the course. But Hirscher made light of both issues as he surged to his 29th giant slalom win on the circuit. It edged him closer to Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time World Cup record of 86 wins, which is also being targeted by American Lindsey Vonn, who has 82.
But the Austrian said: “I’m here to enjoy myself, go as fast as possible and I’m not thinking about points or statistics. “I just want to give it everything and that’s a great feeling.”
Hirscher’s win handed him the overall World Cup lead ahead of speed event specialist and compatriot Max Franz. Luitz, whose team have admitted to using oxygen last week but pleaded their innocence, finished 30th after making a huge mistake on his second run. —AFP