December 17, 2017 / 1:19 PM / a year ago

Alpine skiing - Hirscher destroys field to win again in Alta Badia

Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup - Men's Alpine Giant Slalom - Alta Badia, Italy - December 17, 2017 - Marcel Hirscher of Austria is seen during the first run. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

ALTA BADIA, Italy (Reuters) - Austrian Marcel Hirscher destroyed the field to win the giant slalom by a massive 1.7 seconds at Alta Badia on Sunday - the fifth year in a row he has won the race at the Italian resort.

The win also put Hirscher back on course for a record-extending seventh successive overall World Cup title despite suffering a broken ankle in a training run in August.

Hirscher’s third World Cup race win of the season, and the 48th of his career, put him level on 374 points at the top of the overall standings with Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, winner of the downhill at Val Gardena on Saturday.

The other skiers could only stand back and admire as the dominant Hirscher was fastest over both legs, finishing with a total time of two minutes 25.42 seconds.

“The second run was really great,” Hirscher told Austrian broadcaster ORF. “I gave it everything as I knew that Kristoffersen really wanted to win. I stepped on the gas and it went really well.”

Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen was second, 1.7 seconds behind, and Slovenian Zan Kranjec a surprise third.

“I’m very happy with second place - Marcel is in a league of his own at the moment,” Kristoffersen said.

Despite his dominance of the World Cup, Hirscher has never won an Olympic gold medal - something he has a chance to change in Pyeongchang in February.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern, editing by Ed Osmond

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