Hirscher breaks another Alpine mark
Once more in his stellar career, Marcel Hirscher was racing against Alpine skiing’s history book Sunday.
The Austrian great almost inevitably won a World Cup slalom, his ninth victory in Adelboden, Switzerland, 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 secondrun 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 21year-old 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. . . .
Two-time overall World Cup ski champion Anna Veith ended her season after injuring a knee in training.
The Austrian ski federation said the 2014 Olympic gold medalist tore her right ACL in a giant slalom run Saturday and will undergo surgery.
Veith has been slowed by knee injuries since winning her second straight overall title in 2015 and has since had just one World Cup race win.
LUGE: Latvia won a World Cup luge gold medal for the first time, prevailing in the team relay in Sigulda, Latvia.
This was the 27th time that Latvia has hosted a World Cup racing weekend, spanning nearly 100 events — yet none resulted in a win before now. Kendija Aparjode, Kristers Aparjods and the doubles team of Oskars Gudramovics and Peteris Kalnins delivered the historic win.
Russia was second in the team relay, Germany got the bronze, and the United States finished fourth.
Earlier Sunday, Russia took first and second in the men’s race with Semen Pavlichenko winning and Aleksandr Gorbatcevich taking the silver. Olympic champion David Gleirscher of Austria was third. Chris Mazdzer was the top American finisher, placing 13th.
BOBSLED: Germany is still unbeaten in World Cup bobsled races this season after Johannes Lochner drove to a victory in a four-man race in Koenigssee, Germany.