Wengen (Switzerland) (AFP) - Austria's Marcel Hirscher cruised to victory in the prestigious World Cup slalom in Wengen on Sunday and his chief rival Henrik Kristoffersen heaped praise on his tormentor.
Hirscher, a seven-time overall World Cup winner who will be bidding for his first Olympic title in Pyeongchang next month, was fastest on the first run ahead of Andre Myhrer of Sweden with Kristoffersen in third.
Oozing confidence, Hirscher was again fastest on the second run with Kristoffersen second 0.93sec adrift and Myhrer 1.72sec back in third for a confidence-boosting first ever win on the Wengen slopes.
"It's great to have won here, everyone was wondering when I would, it's the only classic I hadn't yet won," Hirscher said.
"I came here feeling confident, but anyone can be beaten."
Kristoffersen, who will by vying with Hirscher for Olympic gold in South Korea, was graceful in defeat.
"He is simply the best. Fot me it's no longer a question of beating Marcel but to do my best," he said.
Hirscher, 28, has already won at Zagreb, Madonna di Campiglio, Val d'Isere and twice at Adelboden this season to lift his tally to 53 career World Cup wins.
That puts him just one behind his compatriot Herman Maier, who has 54, but still far behind the record of 86, held by Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark.