Austria’s Herbst wins men’s slalom World Cup title

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — Reinfried Herbst gave Austria its only men’s title of the season, clinching the slalom crystal globe in the final race on Saturday.

Ted Ligety of the United States, who clinched the giant slalom title Friday, clipped the first gate of the second run and dropped out.

Felix Neureuther delighted his hometown crowd by posting the fastest second run after finishing fifth in the first. He finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 43.63, with first-run leader Manfred Pranger of Austria finished second, 0.29 seconds behind. Olympic bronze medalist Andre Myhrer of Sweden was third.

Herbst won the title ahead of Julien Lizeroux of France, who finished fourth.

Herbst was only ninth but he had a 43-point lead ahead of the race and took the title with 534 points. The points lead changed hands several times as later starters moved up the standings.

“My nerves were shattered at the end,” Herbst said. “I have to give a very, very big thanks to Felix, his victory win helped me win the title. I was lucky today, but if you look over the season I think I deserved it with four wins.”

The Austrian men have struggled throughout the season and went without any medals at the Vancouver Olympics. They also failed to win a downhill race.

“It was an important victory for the team,” Herbst said.

Neureuther is the son of former German stars Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther, who won a slalom race on the same hill 36 years ago.

“The season didn’t go the way I wanted, but to end it like this is a dream,” Neureuther said.

His father called it a “special family story.”

Lizeroux had the second fastest time in the second run after Neureuther.

“I really stepped on it, I thought I might never get another shot at the title,” Lizeroux said.

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