Hirscher’s domination takes mystery out of Saturday’s giant slalom in Aspen
The Aspen Times
Regardless of how the men’s giant slalom and slalom races end up at the World Cup Finals in Aspen this weekend, it will be a victory lap for Marcel Hirscher.
The 28-year-old Austrian has already secured the crystal globe in the giant slalom and slalom as well as the overall title for the skier who collects the most points in all disciplines over the season. It is his record sixth overall title.
Hirscher leads Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, 1,449 points to 924.
In the giant slalom standings, Hirscher has an insurmountable lead over Alexis Pinturault of France, 633 to 439.
Although the title isn’t in doubt, Hirscher will try today to win his third consecutive giant slalom race. To do it, he will have to do something no other Austrian has done.
“An Austrian skier has yet to win a World Cup giant slalom race in Aspen,” according to a fact sheet issued by the International Ski Federation.
Pinturault has a comfortable lead for second over Mathieu Faivre, also of France, in the giant slalom standings.
Tommy Ford is the only American who qualified for the men’s giant slalom in the World Cup Finals. He is in 25th place with 74 points.
Hirscher has won the giant slalom title four times overall. This will be his third in a row.
But it is his six consecutive overall titles that are causing jaws to drop, at least most jaws.
American racer Bode Miller, who did not compete this season, was asked about Hirscher’s performance at an event in Aspen this week.
“It’s always tough to ask me those questions, because he’s in an unbelievably weak era of World Cup skiing,” Miller said. “I don’t want to take anything away from him, even though that obviously does take something away from him.
“He is an unbelievable skier,” Miller continued. “But no one should be able to win six World Cup overalls in a row without being able to ski a super-G or a downhill or win a combined. That to me is indicative of where the sport is.”
Miller conceded that Hirscher’s skills in the technical events are unbelievable.
“You shouldn’t be able to win an overall, in my mind, without skiing at least three events at the highest level,” Miller said. “And he’s not doing that. Really, it should require four events at the highest level, if the sport could support it. But there is no need right now.”
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