Marcel Hirscher’s runs was all anyone could talk about after Sunday’s giant slalom race on the Kandahar at Garmisch, Germany. After dominating the first run and clocking a time 1.99 seconds faster than everyone else’s, Hirscher was far from done for the day.
He entered the second run as if the massive gap didn’t exist, attacking every turn of the rutty course and won his 30th World Cup race with a massive 3.28 seconds advantage. The margin turned out to be the third biggest in World Cup history, the first two belonging to the legendary Ingemar Stenmark.
Benjamin Raich celebrated his 37th birthday on Saturday and today’s third place finish was as perfect of a birthday present he could have wished for.
Rounding up the podium was local favorite Felix Neureuther of Germany who seems to be enjoying waking up in his own bed and racing on the hill he grew up skiing at.
American Ted Ligety just missed the podium in fourth, while Tim Jitloff finished 10th.
World Cup Women at Bansko, Bulgaria: Fog led to the cancellation of Friday and Saturday's super-G races here and was a disturbing factor again on Sunday at for the first and only scheduled alpine combined race (downhill and slalom) of the season.
The opening super-G run was interrupted multiple times due to poor visibility and hence the slalom run was delayed by almost two hours.
In the lead after the super-G run, Austria's Anna Fenninger managed to hang on to her position after a very solid and impressive slalom run, earning her first career World Cup victory in an alpine combined race.
Fenninger finished in an overall 2:05.06 to beat second-place Slovenia's Tina Maze by 0.39 seconds. Austria's Kathrin Zettel trailed Fenninger by 1.06 in third.
USA’s Lindsey Vonn decided not to take part in the slalom run after she struggled with the soft track and fog in the super-G run, finishing 2.57 seconds behind Fenninger.
“It's just unfortunate that the conditions have been so bad this week,” Vonn told reporters. “Nothing anyone can do to change it. It's a bit frustrating for the athletes.”
U.S. Ski Team member Julia Mancuso was 12th; Laurenne Ross 17th; and Jacqueline Wiles 26th.
“I just wanna make sure that I am saving my body and my knees, going forward. Because I want to race until the next Olympics. So on a day like today, my goal was just to get to the bottom and use it as training for tomorrow. I am looking to try to win the downhill and the super-G titles. Those are big goals for me this season," Vonn said.
Super-G races scheduled tMonday and Tuesday in Bansko after the postponements.
Photos: Top — Marcel Hirscher wins Garmisch slalom by big margin (Marcel Hirscher/Facebook); Bottom — Anna Fenninger wins alpine combined at foggy Bansko (Anna Fenninger/Facebook)