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Svindal takes title after Raich crashes out

  • Story Highlights
  • Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal wins men's overall World Cup title on Saturday
  • Chief rival Benjamin Raich crashes out of the final slalom of season in Sweden
  • Svindal also fails to finish but claims overall title by just two points from Raich
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(CNN) -- Aksel Lund Svindal has won the men's overall World Cup title for the second time in his career, after Austrian rival Benjamin Raich dramatically crashed out in the first leg of the closing slalom at the World Cup finals in Are, Sweden.

Svindal is the men's overall World Cup champion after Benjamin Raich crashed out in the final race of season.

Svindal is the men's overall World Cup champion after Benjamin Raich crashed out in the final race of season.

Norwegian Svindal led by just two points going into Saturday's final race of the season, but slalom specialist Raich -- the 2006 overall champion -- was expected to overtake him.

However, both skiers failed to complete the first of the two runs leaving the 26-year-old Svindal to celebrate adding this overall crown to the one he claimed in 2007.

Svindal had only ever managed one podium placing in the slalom but Raich's hopes of taking advantage of his superior slalom ability vanished when he straddled a gate late in his run.

Raich's error meant Norwegian Svindal was assured of overall victory prior to starting his run, although he too made a mistake and failed to finish after missing a gate.

The victory capped a remarkable comeback for Svindal, who missed most of last season after sustaining serious injuries while falling in a downhill training run at Beaver Creek in Colorado.

Raich's compatriot Mario Matt took the honors on Saturday with Frenchman Julien Lizeroux finishing second. Another Frenchman, Jean-Baptiste Grange, came home third to secure the discipline's crystal globe as the top slalom skier of the season.

The 24-year-old Grange went into the race with a 49-point lead over Ivica Kostelic. He began the second run down in 10th position but produced a superb display to reach the podium while Croatian Kostelic slipped down from fourth to 12th position after a poor second run.

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