Hirscher grabs second globe with dramatic slalom win
Austria's Marcel Hirscher celebrates with his World Cup crystal globe after winning the slalom title in Lenzerheide, on March 16, 2014 - by Fabrice Coffrini
Hirscher, quickest on the first leg, clocked a combined 2min 07.74sec, handing him a 0.76sec advantage over second-placed Felix Neureuther.
The German had been leading the race for the slalom globe by five points, but saw Hirscher leapfrog him to top the standings with 565 points to Neureuther's 550.
Hirscher, who won Olympic silver at the Sochi Games, rode the pressure of the second run to perfection.
Starting with just a 0.06sec lead on Neureuther, Hirscher battled through the sluggish upper section and at the third split had lost his advantage, but then put together a rhythmic bottom half to well-and-truly nail victory by a massive margin.
"I knew it would be all or nothing," said Hirscher. "Only the result counted.
"I laid down a marker on the first leg and on the second we saw that the course-setting made little difference.
"It didn't really suit me, but I was still quick."
Hirscher added: "With this slalom crystal globe, I've fulfilled another wish and goal, my season's perfect."
The issue of course-setting, much criticised in the men's Olympic slalom, had raised its ugly head after Neureuther complained that the first leg had favoured Hirscher, although he was quick to praise his Austrian rival.
"I'm a little disappointed," the German said. "The first leg didn't influence the race, everything was still possible and in the second leg, Marcel was better, he deserved to win.
"But when there's something that annoys me, I tell it as it is," Neureuther continued.
"Today the first leg had little to do with the sport. The fans didn't really appreciate it.
"It must remain a fair race and today they tried out in some difficulties for other skiers and that's not very sporting."
Neureuther added: "I've talked about it with other skiers and it doesn't give a good image.
"We must think about this in the future and perhaps have a neutral course-set by the FIS," alpine skiing's world governing body.
Hirscher's older teammate, Mario Matt, the surprise Olympic slalom champion, completed the podium, for which his 60 points saw him rise to sixth in the slalom standings with 310pts behind the first two here, Norwegian teenager Henrik Kristoffersen (454), Italian Patrick Thaler (351) and Sweden's Mattias Hargin (349).
Hirscher won the overall World Cup title for the third year in succession after coming fourth in Saturday's giant slalom.
The 25-year-old had taken advantage of a disastrous day for Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, who pulled out in the first leg of the race and withdrew from the season-ending slalom to end his hopes of taking the title.