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Hector wins last giant slalom before Beijing

KRONPLATZ – Sweden’s Sara Hector claimed her third victory of the season in a women’s World Cup giant slalom with an ice-cool performance in the second run in Kronplatz, Italy on Tuesday. Hector, who extended her lead in the discipline’s World Cup rankings to almost 100 points, now heads to the Beijing Olympics full of confidence after finishing on the podium in the last five giant slaloms. The 29-year-old clocked a combined best time of two minutes 03.63 seconds to beat Slovakian Petra Vlhova, who had won the first run, by 0.15 seconds. France’s Tessa Worley, a double world champion in giant slalom, took third place, 0.52 off the pace as American Mikaela Shiffrin paid dearly for a mistake in the steep part of the second run to finish fifth, 0.81 seconds behind Hector. Hector also made a mistake, losing speed as she went off the ideal trajectory, but she stayed composed and powered down the final part to seal an impressive win. The Swede leads the giant slalom World Cup rankings with 462 points to second-placed Worley’s 367. Shiffrin is third on 361 points and Vlhova fourth on 331. In the overall World Cup standings, Shiffrin, who was hoping to take a 74th overall career victory, leads with 1,026 points but Vlhova is now 17 points behind. The women’s giant slalom at the Olympics is scheduled for Feb. 7.