Marcel Hirscher hates to lose. It’s a trait that’s made him the most dominant skier of his generation.
So after a narrow defeat in Kitzbuhel Saturday, the Austrian skiing superstar hit back with victory in Schladming’s infamous night slalom Tuesday.
The fiercely competitive Hirscher dominated in front of a raucous 45,000-strong crowd lining the steep Planai course to clinch his 10th victory of the season and 68th World Cup win overall.
The 29-year-old Hirscher, who was second behind rising French star Clement Noel on the Ganslern slope in Kitzbuhel, put down a storming first run to lead by a second and built on his advantage to beat France’s Alexis Pinturault by 1.21 secs with Swiss Daniel Yule third.
“The key to success was definitely today’s first run,” Hirscher told reporters in Schladming. “I knew after three turns the feeling is good, the feeling is perfect, now I can push even harder so I’m super happy.
“The team around me are doing an amazing job.”
Hirscher is third on the all-time list of World Cup wins, now just 14 behind US speed queen Lindsey Vonn, who is set to retire at the end of this year. Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark, who retired in 1989, leads with 86 race victories.
The Austrian star is the runaway leader in the World Cup overall standings as he looks to push his own record to eight straight titles. He is also on track for a sixth World Cup slalom crown in seven years.
Hirscher, the Olympic giant slalom and combined champion, will look to defend his slalom and giant slalom titles at the World Championships in Are, Sweden in February.