Hirscher storms to sixth consecutive giant slalom win

Alta Badia (Italy) (AFP) –


Olympic champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria stormed to a sixth consecutive victory in the men's World Cup giant slalom at Alta Badia on Sunday.

The seven-time defending overall World Cup champion laid the groundwork for victory in a dominant first run in the Dolomites of northern Italy.

Hirscher was impressive from the start gate to the finish on the first run down the challenging Gran Risa course with a blistering 1min 17.61sec, nearly one second ahead of his rivals.

The 29-year-old clocked 1:14.68 in the second run for a combined time of 2min 32.29sec with France's Thomas Fanara at 2.53sec and Alexis Pinturault at 2.69 were second and third respectively.

"It was definitely on the limit," said Hirscher. "I was very close to not getting to the finish line. It was on the edge."

Hirscher's great Norwegian rival Henrik Kristoffersen, fifth fastest on the opening run, made two big mistakes on his second run and could only finish 14th overall at 3.65sec.

It was Hirscher's 61st World Cup victory and third this season after the slalom in Levi, Finland and giant slalom in Val d'Isere, France.