Austria takes top two spots at men's World Cup slalom

Nov. 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM
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LEVI, Finland, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Austria's Marcel Hirscher picked up where he left off last season with a victory in the men's World Cup slalom race in Finland.

Hirscher, who placed in all nine World Cup slaloms last season, captured Sunday's race at Levi by 0.62 seconds over fellow Austrian Mario Matt.

In keeping with Levi tradition, Hirscher was presented with a baby reindeer to go along with the trophy and the World Cup points.

"I talked to my girlfriend about what to name it if I win, and we agreed it would be kind of cool if we named it after my dad," Hirscher said. "So his name will be Ferdinand, but we might call it Ferdi for short."

Hirscher skied two flawless runs and posted a combined time of 1 minute 45.42 seconds on the course, which had received an overnight dusting of powder.

Norway's Henrik Kristofferson placed third with a 1:46.35. Ted Ligety was the top U.S. finisher with a 1:47.38 that put him in 11th place.

Ligety was in 24th place after the first run and said the Levi Black course left little margin for error. "Levi is a drag race," he said. "It is the easiest course on the World Cup by far, so the margins are super tight and the little mistakes cost you a ton of time. It makes it difficult to be one of the fastest guys because you really pay when you are a little bit off."

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