Hirscher sets pace in giant slalom
VAL D’ISERE, France (AFP) –
Austrian Marcel Hirscher set the pace in the first leg of the men’s World Cup giant slalom here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old defending overall World Cup champion clocked 56.69 seconds down the steep, exacting Bellevarde course in extremely cold but sunny conditions.
French tyro Alexis Pinturault, who won Saturday’s slalom with Hirscher in third behind Germany’s Felix Neureuther, was second fastest at 0.05sec.
Hirscher and Pinturault, 21, were out on their own, however, as a host of other race favourites failed to get close to the duo.
The third quickest down the 41-gate course was Austrian Philipp Schoerghofer, a massive 1.38sec adrift of teammate Hirscher.
Austrian veteran Benjamin Raich was in fourth at 1.67sec and American Ted Ligety, winner of the two giant slaloms so far this season, finished fifth at 1.72sec to leave himself with it all to do in the second leg scheduled for 1130 GMT.
The current leader of the World Cup overall standings, Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, was 1.90sec off the pace.