(AP) Ligety of US wins World Cup giant slalom title
By ERIC WILLEMSEN
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia
Ted Ligety of the United States won his fifth giant slalom of the season Saturday to clinch the World Cup discipline title with a race to spare.
It’s his fourth GS title after winning in 2008 and 2010-11. He also successfully defended his GS title at the world championships last month.
Ligety held his first-run lead to win in 2 minutes, 35.43 seconds for his 16th career victory, all in GS.
He established an insurmountable 125-point lead over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who was 0.45 behind in second.
Ligety has finished on the podium in all seven GS races this season and became the first man to achieve that feat since Michael von Gruenigen of Switzerland in 1995-96.
Alexis Pinturault of France was third, 0.77 behind, and Felix Neureuther of Germany was fourth, 0.81 off Ligety’s time. Ligety led Hirscher by 0.60 after the opening run, in which the Austrian placed fourth.
In the overall standings, Hirscher extended his lead to 69 points over Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal, who finished sixth.
Rain made for difficult conditions during the final run on a course that was soft by days of mild temperatures.
The course for the first run was set by Austrian slalom coach Michael Pircher. He designed numerous sharp turns, an unusual feature for a GS and one that didn’t benefit Hirscher.
A men’s World Cup slalom on the same course is scheduled for Sunday. The last GS of the season is next Saturday at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.