Hirscher, Vlhova win on penultimate day in Aspen
Marcel Hirscher won his third giant slalom race in a row to cap off the season where he held onto the discipline title despite advances from a number of competitors. In the come-from-behind race victory, Hirscher took down first-run leader Felix Neureuther – who ultimately finished second – by 0.53 seconds and third-place finisher Mathieu Faivre by 1.19 seconds with a spectacular second run.
"You know today’s race was very tough but you’ve known me for quite a long time and for me every race is very serious and I want to win it if it is possible," said Hirscher, referencing both his competition and warm temperatures. "I’m super, super happy protecting the globe from Alexis Pinturault this season. It means a lot to me because at the beginning of the season he was unbelievably fast, so I proved myself to be pretty good during the season.”
With his podium finish, Faivre finished the season standings in second place and Pinturault, who failed to finish the second run, finished in third by a single point.
In the ladies slalom, Petra Vlhova held onto her first-run lead to claim her first race victory in a season. Mikaela Shiffrin, who secured the slalom title last week, pushed hard in the second run but ultimately finished in second. Frida Hansdotter rounded out the race podium in third. With her result and Ilka Stuhec deciding not to start in the slalom race, Shiffrin also mathematically claimed the 2016-17 Overall title, the first big crystal globe of her career.
"It’s beautiful," noted Shiffrin. "I love racing at Aspen and I love racing in front of a home crowd. It was a good day." She has yet to fully process the accomplishment of the Overall title. "No, I don’t know if I’ll ever process [the Overall globe]. It’s been a goal and a dream of mine since I was five years old, and it’s really difficult to understand something that finally happens after 20 years."
Veronika Velez Zuzulova in second and Wendy Holdener in third completed the slalom standings podium.
The ladies will race GS and the men slalom on the last day of World Cup Finals on Sunday.