Marcel Hirscher back to winning ways in Zagreb

While Mikaela Shiffrin is dominating women's ski racing, Marcel Hirscher continues to cement his legacy as t...

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 11:13 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 11:13 PM

While Mikaela Shiffrin is dominating women's ski racing, Marcel Hirscher continues to cement his legacy as the greatest male racer of his generation -- if not all time.

The Austrian superstar won his sixth World Cup race of the season under the floodlights in Zagreb Sunday to push his overall tally to 64 victories on the circuit.

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Marcel Hirscher

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Hirscher beat France's Alexis Pinturault in the two-run slalom in Croatia for the 30th slalom win of his career as he chases an unprecedented eighth World Cup overall title

The 29-year-old was beaten by Britain's Dave Ryding in the heats of the Oslo parallel slalom last week and could only manage 26th in Italy before Christmas but his Zagreb victory puts him back on track.

"The last two races not scoring any points it's making me nervous after all these years so I'm super happy I made it to the finish line today," he told reporters.

READ: Is Mikaela Shiffrin the most dominant athlete on the planet?

Hirscher has won the last seven overall crowns -- awarded to the skier with the most points across all six disciplines -- to pass the record of five set by Luxembourg's Marc Girardelli in 1993.

He sits second on the men's all-time list of wins behind Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark, whose record of 86 is a target for Lindsey Vonn this season.

Stenmark won 40 slalom races and a record eight World Cup slalom titles, although he only clinched three overall crowns in his career, which ended in 1989.

Colorful former Italian racer Alberto Tomba is second on the list of slalom wins with 35 five clear of Hirscher.

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However, Hirscher, the double Olympic gold medalist from PyeongChang 2018, has won five of the last six World Cup slalom titles and five of the last seven giant slalom season-ending crowns.

Having got married last June, and with the birth of the couple's first child in October, Hirscher admits ski racing is "not the most important thing" in his life anymore, and has hinted at retirement in a year or so.

"It is hard keep this pace, to improve yourself every year," he added. "It's not just skiing, technique is changing, material is changing, the young generation is pushing even harder, I'm getting older so every year it's a little bit harder to keep this pace up."

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Hirscher will be looking to defend his slalom and giant slalom titles when the biennial World Championships take place in Are, Sweden in February.

Shiffrin is targeting a fourth straight slalom world title next month.

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