Christian Hirschbuehl Wins Men's Parallel in Lech-Zürs
Christian Hirschbuehl won the Men's Parallel in Lech-Zürs. He beats teamate Dominik Raschner in the Big Final. It's the first WC podium for both Austrian racers.
Hirschbuehl's best result in the World Cup was 4th place in Wengen in the Slalom.
The 31-year-old skier who had narrowly qualified for the knockout round as 15th in the morning showed strong nerves. As in the final against Raschner, he managed to catch up in the second round against Zan Kranjec, in the quarterfinals against Trevor Philp, and in the semifinals against Henrik Kristoffersen. He was rewarded for this with the first World Cup victory by a Vorarlberger male skier since Christian Greber 20 years ago.
“It’s crazy, (...) After those first runs I never thought I could qualify. But I did and now I did a pretty good event. I never thought I could beat Raschner, he was always the fastest. But it’s part of the game. I won and I’m overwhelmed”, said Hirschbuehl.
Dominik Raschner missed his first WC victory by 0.07 seconds after he was half a second ahead of Hirschbühl after the first run. But he is more than satisfied with the first World Cup podium. He had already proven his ability as the fastest in qualifying.
“If someone had told me that in the morning, I would have jumped up and screamed. I already did it in practice, but this time I was able to perform in the race. That is definitely my greatest success”, said Raschner. Last year he finished 9th place in Lech's Parallel - his best World Cup result to date.
Atle Lie McGrath rounded out the podium in third place after beating Henrik Kristoffersen in the Small Final.
Last year's winner and overall World Cup defending champion Alexis Pinturault did not finish the second run in the qualification after setting the best time in the first round. “It's so tight here, with a small mistake you're gone straight away. I'm not satisfied, but that's the way it is. Parallel races are always a surprise”, said Pinturault.