Hirscher storms to 60th World Cup win at Val d’Isere

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

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

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