Skiing: Blardone blitz
Italian gets the better of Hirscher in Crans-Montana
Last Updated: 26/02/12 2:45pm
Massimiliano Blardone: Second World Cup win of the season
Massimiliano Blardone confirmed his return to form with victory in a World Cup giant slalom in Crans-Montana on Sunday.
The Italian, who carries the moniker of 'Superman', mastered a tricky second run on softening snow to win in a combined time of two minutes and 33.77 seconds.
Marcel Hirscher held a narrow lead after the first run but had to settle for second place 0.16 seconds behind, with his Austrian team-mate Hannes Reichelt back in third after charging from 11th at halfway.
It was Blardone's second victory this season after his spectacular comeback in Alta Badia in December after two barren seasons.
"It's not a revenge from Bansko last week when I came second to Marcel. I'm just glad I was able to win again after Alta Badia," said the Italian.
Hirscher extended his lead over the injured Ivica Kostelic in the overall standings to 92 points, and he was delighted with the result.
"It's perfect," Hirscher said, despite letting his morning lead slip. "I didn't lose 20 points, I won 80. In GS races, it's very difficult in these soft conditions."
Swiss favourite Didier Cuche was placed eighth after the morning run but slipped to 15th in his final race on home snow.