In-form Schwarz leads Kristoffersen, Hirscher in WCup slalom

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Continuing his career-best run of form, Marco Schwarz was fastest in the first leg of a World Cup slalom on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Austrian led the usual front runners Henrik Kristoffersen and Marcel Hirscher by 0.34 seconds and 0.39, respectively.

Hirscher, who leads the overall and slalom standings, and Kristoffersen have combined to win the Adelboden slalom in six of the past seven years.

Schwarz won the New Year‘s Day parallel slalom event in Oslo, was runner-up last month at Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy, and led the first run last weekend at Zagreb.

Olympic champion Andre Myhrer was among several top racers failing to finish in poor visibility due to falling snow.

Manuel Feller wasted a fast start by sliding off course, then showed his frustration by snapping a ski pole over his right thigh. Feller also failed to finish the giant slalom Saturday, won by his Austria teammate Hirscher.

The classic Adelboden hill, an original World Cup venue in January 1967, has not seen the home Swiss team have a podium finish in slalom or giant slalom for the past 10 years.

Still, four Swiss racers placed in the top 10 Sunday morning with less than a second to make up on Schwarz in the second run.

No American racer placed in the top 30 to qualify for the afternoon action, though Dartmouth College student Tanguy Nef was 24th, trailing Schwarz by 1.74. The 22-year-old Swiss was the NCAA champion in slalom last season.

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