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Hirscher wins slalom title as Neureuther skies out

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ERIC WILLEMSEN | March 10, 2013 06:34 AM EST | AP


KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Marcel Hirscher of Austria has clinched the World Cup slalom title Sunday after his sole rival, Felix Neureuther of Germany, skied out in the opening run of the second-to-last event of the season.

Hirscher led Neureuther by 184 points going into the race. With Neureuther straddling a gate and failing to score points, Hirscher's lead has become insurmountable with a win worth 100 points.

Alexis Pinturault held a commanding lead after the rain-drenched first run. The Frenchman opened the race on a rapidly deteriorating course in 50.79 seconds to lead second-place Andre Myhrer of Sweden by 1.45 seconds. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia was another 0.06 back in third.

Pinturault, who won a slalom in Val d'Isere in December, is seeking his seventh podium of the season.

Hirscher came 2.11 behind in eighth. The Austrian leads Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who skipped the race, by 69 points in the overall standings.

The slalom is the last event before next week's World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.