Marcel Hirscher won his third straight World Cup giant slalom race Saturday and distanced himself from Olympic champion Ted Ligety in the season standings with just three races left in the discipline.
Hirscher prevailed by a comfy 1.13 seconds over France’s Alexis Pinturault. Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was third. Ligety finished seventh, 1.86 back, in Adelboden, Switzerland.
Hirscher, 25, won his 29th career World Cup race (joint eighth all-time) and increased his World Cup overall standings lead to 152 points over Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud.
The Austrian, who does not own an Olympic gold medal and has said he can’t see himself competing through the 2018 Olympics, is going for an unprecedented fourth straight World Cup overall title.
Ligety is more concerned with the World Cup giant slalom title, combining results over eight races this season. Ligety has won that crown four of the last five years and finished in the top three the last seven seasons.
For the first time this season, Ligety does not control his own destiny in the title race. Hirscher now leads the American by 138 points through five of eight races.
Winners receive 100 points per race. Second place receives 80 points. Even if Ligety wins the next three giant slaloms, Hirscher could finish in third place each time and still win the World Cup giant slalom title.
In Hirscher’s last 26 World Cup giant slalom starts, he has finished third or better 23 times and fourth or better 25 times.
The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a slalom — Hirscher’s best discipline — in Adelboden on Sunday.