February 15, 2015 / 10:44 PM / 4 years ago

Frenchman Grange wins world slalom crown

Feb 15, 2015; Beaver Creek, CO, USA; Jean-Baptiste Grange of France during run two of the men's slalom in the FIS alpine skiing world championships at Birds of Prey Racecourse. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Grange stole the limelight from reigning champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria to win the men’s slalom on Sunday in the final event of the alpine ski world championships.

Fifth after the opening leg, 2011 world champion Grange stormed down the twisting Birds of Prey piste in steady snowfall to post a combined time of one minute, 57.47 seconds, according to provisional results.

The 30-year-old Grange, who won a slalom bronze at the 2007 world championships in Are, covered the second run in 53.21 seconds and pumped his right fist skywards in delight after crossing the finish line.

German Fritz Dopfer finished 0.35 seconds back in second with his compatriot Felix Neureuther taking bronze.

Hirscher, bidding for his third gold medal of the championships, led by 0.28 seconds after the morning run and stayed out in front through the first three intervals of his second trip down the track before skiing out after straddling a gate.

It was only the third time in 11 events that Austria had failed to land a skier on the podium. They fell one gold medal shy of matching their best-ever result, six golds achieved at the 1962 world championships in Chamonix.

Reporting by Steve Keating; Editing by Gene Cherry

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