ADELBODEN, Switzerland (AP) – Marcel Hirscher canceled the lead of rival Henrik Kristoffersen in the first inning for another clear victory in the World Cup giant slalom on Saturday.
Olympic champion Hirscher was almost perfect in the flatter middle section of the Chuenisbargli course, allowing him to overcome his 0.12 second delay with a .71 win over his second, Kristoffersen.
Thomas Fanara was third, behind 1.06 behind Hirscher, who won four of five traditional giant slaloms this season.
In an era dominated by Hirscher, Kristoffersen, 24, now has 18 career podiums in giant slalom – including an Olympic silver medal – but only one World Cup win.
"It's life at the moment, it's the best," said Kristoffersen about Hirscher. "I'm fighting with everything I had and my legs are completely gone."
Hirscher's eighth World Cup win this season bolsters his overall lead, as he looks for a record for the eighth straight title.
With 100 points won in the World Cup, Hirscher now has a lead of 365 on Kristoffersen. The gap that separates them is 238 in the giant slalom standings along the season.
Hirscher's second dominant round turned a close race – 1.00 separating the top 11 in the morning – from another procession for the great Austrian.
Hirscher, 29, wins his 66th career World Cup victory with 20 fewer wins than Ingmar Stenmark on the record list.
The second run was delayed by 45 minutes until the fog disappeared from the course. This meant that Kristoffersen had left the starting grid at 15:03. local time on a hill that darkens quickly after the passage of the sun behind the surrounding mountains.
One day after missing his December win in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Stefan Luitz of Germany appeared to injure his left shoulder early in the second run, finishing fourth.
Luitz lost his first World Cup win at Beaver Creek for breaking the International Ski Federation rules by inhaling oxygen from a reservoir between races. Hirscher was rewarded with this victory to fill a gap in 11 consecutive giant slalom wins that started in Adelboden last year.
Tommy Ford was sixth on Saturday, beating Hirscher by 1.79. The 29-year-old is enjoying his most regular season with three top 6 in giant slalom since returning from the World Cup circuit in Europe last month.
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