Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Glance Back at The Men’s FIS Ski World Cup

The Men’s FIS Ski World Cup Overall title was a two-man battle between Marcel Hirscher and Aksel Lund Svindal for most of the season. But it was Hirscher who once again wrapped up his season with the Overall title in his pocket. With five victories and a total of 13 podiums, Hirscher was able to secure his third overall title in a row. Interestingly enough; all three times when he won the Overall, Svindal finished second.

1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 1222
2. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1091
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 1028

Svindal already had the downhill title wrapped up before Lenzerheide’s final race. In the end, he finished an impressive 210 points ahead of Hannes Reichelt (AUT). Canadian Erik Guay finished third in the overall downhill standings just three points behind Reichelt.
Svindal might have ended up missing the Overall title, but he was far from finishing the season empty handed. The Norwegian speed specialist secured his second downhill title in a row during his home races in Kvitfjell. He missed his objective of a podium finish at his home races, but scored enough valuable points and didn’t have to worry about anyone catching up with him in Lenzerheide. It might have been a tighter battle, but Hannes Reichelt was forced to end his season early due to a back injury sustained before the Olympic Winter Games.

1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 570
2. Hannes Reichelt (AUT) 360
3. Erik Guay (CAN) 357

Aksel Lund Svindal picked up the super-G crystal globe in Lenzerheide (SUI), but his 16th-place finish left him with zero points on the day, leaving Marcel Hirscher (AUT) in pole position to win the overall season title.
There were no surprises at the top of the men’s super-G standings with Svindal once again showing who is the king of speed. The Norwegian successfully defended his title and took home the crystal globe for a third time in a row. His teammate Kjetil Jansrud wrapped up a fantastic season, during which he won an Olympic gold medal in super_g, claiming second by less than 100 points from Svindal. Patrick Kueng (SUI) in third place, made a name for himself this season by winning in Beaver Creek and finishing second in Kvitfjell.

1. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 346
2. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) 259
3. Patrick Kueng (SUI) 255

The final men’s giant slalom proved to be one of the most thrilling races of the season as the battle for the title came down to the last possible moment. In the last giant slalom of the season Ted Ligety (USA) was able to overcome a 50 point gap between him and Marcel Hirscher to take claim of the title. By winning the race and Hirscher finishing fourth, the pair finished the season with the same number of points, but Ligety earned the title thanks to his five season victories and a little help from his friend Felix Neureuther (GER) who played a key role in the final moments of the race by in second, behind Ligety and ahead of Hirscher.

Giant Slalom
1. Ted Ligety (USA) 560*
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 560*
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 468
Note: Ligety wins on a tie breaker with more season victories.

Felix Neureuther and Marcel Hirscher entered the last slalom of the season with only five points between them. Neureuther was in the lead and had to finish ahead of Hirscher to have a shot at winning his first title. After the first run it was hardly clearer who might be the one to take home the slalom title as only 0.06 seconds separated them, with Hirscher in the lead and the rest of the field far behind. In the end, a small mistake cost Neureuther valuable time and Hirscher won the title. They both better watch out next season, with Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR), only 19 years old who already finished third. Big things are expected from the young Norwegian sensation in the future.

1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 565
2. Felix Neureuther (GER) 550
3. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 454

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