Hirscher can lock up GS title with race to spare



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KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — With the fight for the overall championship tightening up, Marcel Hirscher can lock up the World Cup giant slalom title with a race to spare on Saturday.

The Austrian will build an insurmountable lead in the standings if he wins on the Podkoren course in his first race since the Sochi Olympics. Hirscher holds a 95-point lead over Alexis Pinturault, while Olympic and world GS champion Ted Ligety is 100 points back in third.

Hirscher also has a slim chance to clinch the slalom title on Sunday, but the Austrian's main goal for the weekend is closing the 77-point gap to overall leader Aksel Lund Svindal.

Chasing his third straight overall title, Hirscher says "Aksel has put the ball on the penalty spot. My chances are alive."

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ERIC WILLEMSEN

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