Not since Stephan Eberharter in 2003 had a male skier won back-to-back overall World Cup titles on the elite alpine skiing circuit.
That was until this year when Austrian Marcel Hirscher’s remarkable consistency paid dividends yet again as he defended his title to lift the crystal globe for the second year running.
At the age of 24 Hirscher has clearly marked his territory at the summit of the sport.
His consistent form in the more technical disciplines also earned him the slalom globe.
In an impressive season-long display in the slalom the Salzburg-native won five races and finished on the podium in all 10 events he entered.
As well as winning the overall crown and the slalom globe Hirscher ended the winter runner-up in the giant slalom after winning once and reaching the podium six other times in eight races.
After making his World Cup debut in the 2007 season at the age of 17 Hirscher had to wait two years before tasting success – that came in a giant slalom race at the French resort of Val d’Isère.
Hirscher’s 2011 season was cut short when he broke his ankle the weekend before the World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
It turned out to be a welcome break as when he returned, he returned in devastating fashion.
2012 was to be his breakthrough season in which he won nine races, all but one in his favoured technical disciplines.
He took the winter by storm and went on to lift his first overall World Cup title as well as the giant slalom crown.
It was a stunning feat he was to repeat this season although he replaced the giant slalom title with that of the slalom.
After also winning gold at the world championships on home snow in Schladming the only major thing missing from his trophy cabinet is Olympic gold – bring on Sochi 2014.
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