Saturday, March 21, 2015

Henrik Krisoffersen Wins The Giant Slalom Race, Marcel Hirscher Takes GS Title

Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen won the giant slalom in Meribel, while Marcel Hirscher took a big step toward a record fourth straight overall title after placing fourth.
Marcel Hirscher earned a Crystal Globe today in the giant slalom at the Audi FIS World Cup Season Finals in Meribel (FRA), although he might have been hoping to take home its bigger brother as well. Hirscher already had the giant slalom globe secured entering today’s race and had the chance to also wrap up the Overall Title, but Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) kept his hopes alive to challenge for the big globe after skiing to an 11th-place finish thanks to strong second run.
Hirscher now leads Jansrud by 60 points in the hunt for the Overall Title with only tomorrow’s slalom remaining. Admittedly, Jansrud’s chances are not too great considering Hirscher is a technical specialist and slalom being one of his strongest events. The Norwegian essentially has to finish in the top-two in tomorrow’s slalom and hope for Hirscher to DNF or finish outside the top 15 in order to win the Overall Title, both highly unlikely scenarios. Nevertheless, the mathematical chance is still alive for the Norwegian, who won both the downhill and super-G globes this season.
"I want to congratulate Kjetil for his unbelievable performance today, he really had me sweating up top before I started and I knew I had to give my total 100 percent. But it all comes down to if Kjetil does the slalom or not", Hirscher said of the battle for the Overall Title.
Hirscher has five podium finishes this year in the slalom in contrast to just one DNF, which happened in January in Wengen. Jasnrud’s best-ever finish in the slalom came in 2005 in Beaver Creek where he ended in fourth place. The last time the Norwegian finished in the Top-30 in a World Cup slalom was in 2011 in Alta Badia.
Hirscher finished today’s race in fourth place. Earning bragging rights on the day was Jansrud’s teammate and junior sensation Henrik Krisoffersen who led already after the first run and ended up topping the field by 0.79 seconds. Germany’s Fritz Dopfer finished in second place, trailed by Thomas Fanara (FRA), who gave the Meribel fans reason to wave their red, white and blue flags.
"It is an unbelievable moment. Ted (Ligety) has been dominating the GS for the last few years and it was a long wait to get closer to him so for me it is very satisfying today", said Hirscher of winning the giant slalom globe.
Hirscher entered today's race with a 185-point lead over Alexis Pinturault (FRA) in the giant slalom taking a bit of the pressure off for the Austrian in the race for the small globe. Ultimately, the Pinturault finished 203 points behind Hirscher, while Ted Ligety rounded out the top three in the season standings for the event.
Today’s results mean that both the ladies’ and men’s 2014/15 Overall Titles will come down to the final race. For the ladies it is a battle between Anna Fenninger and Tina Maze, who have a mere 18 point difference, while the men will feature the duel between Hirscher and Jansrud.
The Audi FIS World Cup 2014/15 season will come to a close tomorrow when the men race the slalom, while the ladies’ wrap-up their season with a giant slalom in Meribel (FRA).

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