The drama was pre-loaded into the event. The final men’s race of the 2014 World Cup season with the slalom title on the line and the two contenders for the crown, Marcel Hirscher and Felix Neureuther, sitting one and two after the first run, and so set to ski last in the final run of the season. Tensions weren’t eased by the fact that Neureuther’s time the previous day, just one hundredth faster than Hirscher’s, blocked the Austrian from winning the giant slalom title that instead went to Ted Ligety in a tiebreaker.
That slalom drama came with a bit of controversy as well, with skiers openly critical of the first course set by Hirscher’s coach Michael Pircher, a set Bode Miller called “irresponsible” and “disrespectful” to the athletes. Neureuther stopped short of direct complaints but said fairness was the most important component of sport.
Hirscher, the first man on the first course having drawn bib one, took the first run by 0.06 of a second ahead of Neureuther. The two men were neck and neck for the slalom globe with Neureuther holding a slim five point lead but Hirscher tenuously in the driver’s seat with his minuscule less than a tenth of a second lead. Mario Matt, would finish third on the day, was more than a second back.
Neureuther had little trouble dispatching Matt, and built a significant margin, but an error a few gates from the bottom of the course left the smallest window for Hirscher to exploit. And he did.
Hirscher charged from start to finish, but could not dent Neureuther’s lead, hitting the last interval timer in a dead-heat. Though he was a bit wild, and certainly not error-free, Hirscher kept pushing it down the hill, and over the final section, blistered home for a 0.76 margin for the race win and a 15-point margin for the slalom title, his second straight. He also gained the World Cup overall title, and the famed “big ball” Crystal Globe trophy, his third straight. He is just the second Austrian male (after Hermann Maier) to win three overall titles.
It had no significance other than as a set-up for future seasons, but Ted Ligety finished 12th, David Chodounsky was out of the points in 18th and Bode Miller, after hiking twice to complete the first run, straddled in the second and did not finish.
See more photos from this race in our gallery here.
Men’s World Cup slalom, Lenzerheide, Switzerland, March 16, 2014
Equipment – skis/boots/bindings
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
5 Larsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Baeck, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
7 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Thaler, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
Men’s World Cup slalom, Lenzerheide, Switzerland, March 16, 2014. … It is the 35th and final race of the men’s 2014 season, the last of nine scheduled slaloms. … It is the 41st World Cup race hosted by Lenzerheide… the 11th slalom.
It is the 23rd career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher… his 13th in slalom. … It is his fifth win of the season and third slalom win of the season. … It is his first World Cup victory at Lenzerheide. … He and Mario Matt are tied for most slalom wins by an Austrian male.
It is the 29th career World Cup podium placing for Felix Neureuther… his 23rd in slalom. … It is his eighth podium of the season, sixth of the season in slalom. It is his fourth podium at Lenzerheide in four completed races.
It is the 42nd career World Cup podium for Mario Matt…the 40th in slalom. … It is his fourth podium of the season including the Olympic gold medal in slalom.
Ted Ligety matches his career best slalom result at Lenzerheide. … It is the first result in World Cup Finals for David Chodounsky.
Marcel Hirscher is crowned World Cup overall winner 1222pts to 1091pts over Aksel Lund Svindal (did not race). … Alexis Pinturault (ninth in race) is third with 1028pts. Ted Ligety is fourth with 991pts and Bode Miller eighth with 633pts. … Erik Guay is top Canadian overall in 13th with 440pts.
Hirscher wins the slalom title 565-550 over Felix Neureuther. … Henrik Kristoffersen (11th in race) is third with 454pts. … David Chodounsky leads the U.S. skiers on the final slalom list in 19th with 93pts. … Michael Janyk leads Canada in 28th with 6pts.
Austria takes the men’s Nations Cup 5393-3689 over France. … Italy is third with 3253pts. … The U.S. is fith with 2780pts. … Canada ninth with 1057pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.||FIS Points|
|Disqualified 2nd run|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|