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|Weaving wildly down the steep final slope [url=http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Bengals Jerseys[/url] , Marcel Hirscher somehow found a way to outduel Henrik Kristoffersen yet again on Saturday.
Hirscher’s thrilling victory was his third in a World Cup giant slalom this season with his biggest rival runner-up each time. It also lifted the 28-year-old Austrian into third on the men’s World Cup all-time wins list.
The Hirscher-Kristoffersen contest shapes as one of Alpine skiing’s best rivalries heading into the Pyeongchang Winter Games next month, when both will seek a first Olympic gold medal.
Hirscher hung on for the win by just 0.17 seconds despite losing speed, and most of his half-second lead, taking a wide line cresting the slope down to the finish.
He went wide again three gates from the end and, on crossing the finish line, fell to the snow as if in disbelief that he won.
”Once again the luck was on my side,” Hirscher said in a finish-area interview broadcast to a crowd of 31,000 for the classic Swiss race.
Kristoffersen applauded his opponent and smiled wryly for the cameras on being runner-up for the sixth time in all races this season – four of them behind the same man. He has yet to win and is currently second to Hirscher in three different season-long standings.
”It was a real fight,” Kristoffersen said of Hirscher. ”At the moment he is just better.”
Alexis Pinturault of France placed third Saturday, trailing 0.21 behind Hirscher, the six-time defending overall champion.
Hirscher extended his lead in the overall and giant slalom season standings from second-place Kristoffersen.
With his 51st career World Cup win [url=http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Browns Jerseys[/url] , the 28-year-old Austrian broke a tie with Alberto Tomba that lasted only two days. Hirscher won a slalom Thursday at Zagreb, Croatia.
Hirscher now trails only his fellow Austrian Hermann Maier (54) and Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark (86) on the wins list 51 years after the World Cup began.
A sixth career win at Adelboden also lifted Hirscher over Stenmark’s five on the Chuenisbaergli hill. However, when Stenmark raced in the 1970s and `80s, the course staged only a giant slalom.
Hirscher and Kristoffersen will start favorites in slalom on Sunday.
”I am not confident,” Kristoffersen said. ”He has won three in a row, or something, in slalom.”
Olympic champion Ted Ligety, the winner here in 2013, skied out in the second run on a darkening course after being eighth fastest in the morning sunshine.
Fans packed the stands in record numbers for one of Switzerland’s favorite sports events after overnight repairs to rebuild a section of the main road into Adelboden. It was damaged by the Eleanor storm that swept across Europe in midweek.
SAN FRANCISCO — Johnny Cueto returns from a two-month stint on the disabled list to open a 10-game homestand when the San Francisco Giants host the St. Louis Cardinals in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night.
The Giants completed a six-game trip with a thud Wednesday, dropping a third straight game at Colorado to cancel out an impressive three-game sweep at Arizona.
San Francisco will have to hope a return home rejuvenates the bats that produced 41 runs during a recent 7-3 homestand. The Giants were held to three runs at Colorado, their lowest total ever in a three-game series at Coors Field by a full four runs.
Cueto surely has the potential to turn the Giants’ pitching fortunes back in a positive direction. Before being sidelined by a sprained right elbow [url=http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Cowboys Jerseys[/url] , he went 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in five starts in March and April.
After giving up no runs in two injury-rehab starts at Triple-A Sacramento, he was deemed healthy enough to return to the Giants’ rotation.
“When you’ve got one of your big guys ready to go, you pitch him,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced this week. “He passed all the tests. He checked every box off. He’s thrown the ball well — no runs. His bullpen (Monday) went well, he’s practiced bunts, he’s set to go.”
Cueto will be making his 24th career start against the Cardinals, against whom he has gone 7-8 with a 3.74 ERA.
He has never lost to St. Louis since joining the Giants in 2016, going 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts.
The 32-year-old has had more than his fair share of success against some of the Cardinals’ top guns: Matt Carpenter (.217), Marcell Ozuna (.200) and Dexter Fowler (.158).
Cueto will face a Cardinals team that will be riding the momentum of a late explosion that produced an 8-4 win at Arizona on Wednesday night.
Before that win, St. Louis had lost five of its last six games, having totaled 19 runs in those games.
The Cardinals will send out 24-year-old right-hander Luke Weaver (4-7 [url=http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-customized]Authentic Customized Broncos Jerseys[/url] , 5.16) to face Cueto.
The third-year major-leaguer has struggled in his last nine starts, going 1-5, and is coming off his worst outing of the season when he allowed eight runs in 4 2/3 innings in an 11-4 home loss to Atlanta on Saturday.
Weaver has pitched well against the Giants in his career, going 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA in two starts, both of which were in San Francisco.
Interestingly, Weaver has allowed just one home run to a current member of the Giants, and that happens to be Madison Bumgarner, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale against Jack Flaherty.
The Giants also expect to get Jeff Samardzija back from the disabled list during the series. He is slated to return from shoulder and pectoral soreness to start Saturday.
The Cardinals (44-41) and Giants (45-43) will open the series with nearly identical records. Both would be on the outside looking in had the playoffs begun Thursday.
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