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Svindal edges ahead of Hirscher

Aksel Lund Svindal nudged ahead in the chase for the overall title with a fifth-placed finish at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide.

Norwegian powerhouse Svindal had already wrapped up the downhill title, as well as the super G, and his focus in Switzerland was on his battle with reigning champion Marcel Hirscher across all disciplines.

With the Austrian technical specialist not competing, the 45 points collected by Svindal took him 41 ahead in the race for the overall crystal globe with three races remaining.

Hirscher, though, will have the chance to respond in the slalom as Svindal has not scored points in the shortest discipline since 2009.

Svindal's time of one minute 30.19 seconds was 0.20 secs slower than Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer, who nudged under 90 seconds by the smallest of margins and was the only man to do so.

Mayer made only a steady start but accelerated towards the bottom, with his third split particularly impressive, and took advantage of a late mistake from nearest rivals Christof Innerhofer to take top spot.

Italian Innerhofer shared second with the United States' Ted Ligety, with Peter Fill fourth for Italy ahead of Svindal.