Hirscher wins slalom for WCup record 9th win at same venue

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS -

ADEL­BO­DEN, SWITZER­LAND >> Once more in his stel­lar ca­reer, Mar­cel Hirscher was rac­ing against Alpine ski­ing’s his­tory book on Sun­day.

The Aus­trian great al­most in­evitably won a World Cup slalom, his ninth vic­tory at Adel­bo­den, to set a men’s record on the 52-year cir­cuit for most wins by one skier at a sin­gle venue.

“It is re­ally a spe­cial place,” said Hirscher, who noted he got his first World Cup top-10 fin­ish at Adel­bo­den as a teenager in the Jan­uary 2008 slalom.

The Chuenis­baer­gli slope, a snow-cov­ered cow pas­ture, was an orig­i­nal World Cup venue in Jan­uary 1967 and its race win­ners’ roll reads like a list of Alpine ski greats.

Hirscher’s lat­est Adel­bo­den win was earned with a sec­ond-run charge to vic­tory for the sec­ond straight day, and through steadily fall­ing wet snow that af­fected vis­i­bil­ity.

Third-fastest in the morn­ing, Hirscher was quick­est in the af­ter­noon to fin­ish 0.50 sec­onds ahead of Cle­ment Noel. The 21-yearold French­man got his first ca­reer podium fin­ish.

Hen­rik Kristof­fersen trailed Hirscher by 0.71 in third, one day after let­ting a first-run lead slip when run­ner-up to Hirscher in the clas­sic gi­ant slalom.

“When Mar­cel is at the level that he is in at the mo­ment, I couldn’t beat him with those mis­takes,” Kristof­fersen said.

Hirscher, if he stays free of in­jury, is mak­ing a pro­ces­sion of his pur­suit of a record-ex­tend­ing eighth straight over­all World Cup ti­tle, just as two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion Mikaela Shiffrin is dom­i­nat­ing the women’s ti­tle race.

He swept the week­end races at Adel­bo­den for the third time in his ca­reer, and in back-to-back years.

Hirscher’s ninth ca­reer win at the sto­ried Swiss hill lifted him over two rac­ers who have won eight times at one venue: Inge­mar Sten­mark at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy, in the 1970s and ‘80s and Ak­sel Lund Svin­dal in Lake Louise, Canada, since 2005. Hirscher has also won eight times at Alta Ba­dia, Italy.

Hirscher also matched Sten­mark’s record of five ca­reer slalom wins at two dif­fer­ent venues. Al­berto Tomba got five wins at a sin­gle venue.

With 67 ca­reer World Cup wins — in­clud­ing nine al­ready this sea­son — the 29-year-old Hirscher is main­tain­ing a pace to threaten Sten­mark’s all-time mark of 86 wins.

Hirscher earned 100 World Cup points and is 405 clear of Kristof­fersen in the over­all stand­ings. A five-time win­ner of the slalom dis­ci­pline ti­tle, Hirscher is now 158 points clear of Daniel Yule of Switzer­land, who placed eighth Sun­day.

Switzer­land’s Tan­guy Nef placed 25th, one day be­fore re­turn­ing to the United States to at­tend classes at Dart­mouth Col­lege. The 22-year-old Nef was the NCAA cham­pion in slalom last sea­son.

For the sec­ond straight slalom, Hirscher’s Aus­trian team­mate Marco Sch­warz wasted his first-run lead and was dis­qual­i­fied for strad­dling a gate.

Hirscher’s sched­uled re­turn to ac­tion is next Sun­day in slalom at nearby Wen­gen, which stages an Alpine com­bined event Fri­day and the clas­sic Lauber­horn down­hill on Satur­day.


From left, sec­ond placed France’s Cle­ment Noel, first placed Aus­tria’s Mar­cel Hirscher and third placed Nor­way’s Hen­rik Kristof­fersen cel­e­brate at the end of a ski World Cup men’s slalom in Adel­bo­den, Switzer­land, Sun­day, Jan. 13, 2019.

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