Marcel Hirscher is unbeatable in slalom right now Adidas Jakub Voracek Jersey , and his World Cup win Sunday finally gave him victory at Wengen.
The Austrian star extended his first-run lead to finish 0.93 ahead of Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway in a familiar runner-up spot. Andre Myhrer of Sweden was third, 1.72 back.
Hirscher’s domination was so complete he also had the fastest time in the second run, 0.34 quicker than Kristoffersen, by attacking his rival’s target rather than protecting his lead.
”I have been on the limits, especially on the steep part, so everybody is beatable,” Hirscher said.
Hirscher’s fifth straight success in slalom was the 53rd World Cup win of his career yet a first at the storied Swiss course where he is a three-time runner-up.
”It’s something big for me. This was the last classic race on the calendar that I haven’t won until today,” the reigning slalom world champion said.
Earning 100 World Cup points, Hirscher stretched his lead over second-placed Kristoffersen in both the overall and slalom season-long standings. Hirscher is the six-time defending overall champion.
Yet again at a post-race news conference, Kristoffersen was asked how it is possible to beat Hirscher on current form.
”He is just better, that’s the way it is,” said the 24-year-old Norwegian, who has seven runner-up finishes this season without a win. ”I will never give up, that’s for sure.”
Hirscher is third on the men’s all-time World Cup wins list and will be favored to match the 54-win total of Austrian great Hermann Maier next weekend. Appropriately Adidas Matt Murray Jersey , the World Cup circuit now moves to celebrated Austrian venue Kitzbuehel.
At age 28, Hirscher would need several more years of consistent winning to catch the 86 wins of Ingemar Stenmark, the Swedish great who raced slalom and giant slalom in the 1970s and 80s.
Stenmark won Olympic gold medals in both technical races at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, and Hirscher shapes as favorite to repeat the feat next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In the 2014 Sochi Olympic slalom, Hirscher and Kristoffersen took silver and bronze, respectively, behind the now-retired Mario Matt of Austria.
”Right now, Marcel is in a league of his own,” said Myhrer, the 2010 Olympic bronze medalist.
In a World Cup comeback after three years out injured, Nolan Kasper of the United States placed 20th.
The 28-year-old Kasper’s return could be in time to earn a third Olympic selection. He placed 13th and 24th in the previous two Olympic slaloms.
Kasper was joined in the top 20 Sunday by another racer wearing a starting bib number in the 50s. Ryunosuke Ohkoshi of Japan was 19th, 4.94 behind the winner.
Another series, another opponent sitting at the top of its division.
That’s the scenario for the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend as they welcome the Atlanta Braves Adidas Jake Guentzel Jersey , who lead the National League East, for a three-game series at Busch Stadium starting Friday.
And Atlanta (45-34) will be a stronger team offensively for the series. Prized rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna will be activated off the 10-day disabled list for Friday night’s game and should slot right into the lineup.
The 21-year-old Acuna, who missed a month with a right knee injury suffered on May 27 in Boston, hit .265 with five homers and 13 RBIs in his first 117 big league at-bats. Acuna recorded a solid .779 OPS, although his 10 walks and 37 strikeouts suggests he needs to gain a bit more control of the strike zone.
Acuna’s return at least tempers worries about the status of center fielder Ender Inciarte, who left Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Cincinnati when he felt discomfort near his left oblique. Should Inciarte have to miss any time, Acuna could bat near the top of the lineup.
The Braves missed a chance to extend their division lead during a six-game homestand against two last-place teams. They lost two of three to Baltimore, which has the worst record in baseball, and dropped two of three to Cincinnati, which isn’t playing like a last-place team at the moment with nine wins in 10 games.
“We didn’t play up to our capabilities 100 percent,” Atlanta starting pitcher Sean Newcomb said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You’re not going to every day. I know we’re going to come back out at St. Louis and be pretty strong, pitching and offensively.”
The Braves will have to be strong to deal with Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (8-2, 2.69 ERA), who has been one of baseball’s best free-agent finds this year. Signed after three successful years in Japan Adidas Sidney Crosby Jersey , Mikolas has put together an All-Star resume with St. Louis.
He is coming off a 3-2 win Saturday in Milwaukee, giving up only three hits and two runs to the NL Central leaders in a 6 2/3-inning effort. Mikolas walked two and fanned five, giving him 71 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 97 innings.
Mikolas has faced Atlanta just once in his career, throwing two shutout innings in relief six years ago when he pitched for San Diego.
Julio Teheran (5-5, 4.52) will continue a season-long search for consistency as he starts for the Braves. After tossing six no-hit innings on June 17 in a win over San Diego, Teheran was belted around Saturday for seven runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-5 loss to Baltimore.
The veteran right-hander has made five career starts against the Cardinals, going 1-3 with a 3.86 earned run average. Two players who have hurt him are Matt Carpenter, who is 6-for-12 with two homers, and Marcell Ozuna, who is batting .405 with three homers in 42 career at-bats against Teheran.
St. Louis (42-37) had a four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a 5-1 loss to Cleveland.