Hirscher becomes most successful Austrian slalom skier

Tue Jan 6, 2015 2:24pm EST
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ZAGREB (Reuters) - Marcel Hirscher won the Zagreb World Cup slalom for the third successive time on Tuesday to become the most successful Austrian in the discipline.

The three-times overall World Cup champion outclassed his rivals on the icy Croatian course to snatch his 15th slalom victory in an aggregate time of one minute 55.96 seconds.

Fastest in the first run, Hirscher played it safer towards the end of the evening run to beat arch-rival Felix Neureuther of Germany by 0.81 seconds.

Unheralded Norwegian Sebastian-Foss Solevaag made the best of the icy conditions to clinch his first podium place in third, 1.04 adrift.

“Three in a row, it’s unbelievable. There’s a great atmosphere here, people are having a great party and it’s always nice to ski here.

“I think what makes the difference for me is the preparation of the course making it so icy, which suits me. Thanks for that,” Hirscher said.

With 15 World Cup slalom wins, he surpassed compatriot Benjamin Raich, who has won 14. Raich failed to complete the first run on Tuesday.

In the slalom World Cup, Hirscher still trails Neureuther by four points while he leads the overall World Cup standings by 52 points over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Marcel Hirscher of Austria poses with the winner's crown following the men's slalom at the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Zagreb January 6, 2015.
              REUTERS/Antonio Bronic