Tue, Dec 04, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Lightning fast Ligety claims slalom victory

AFP, BEAVER CREEK, Colorado

US skier Ted Ligety posted his second straight World Cup giant slalom victory on Sunday, easily beating Austrian Marcel Hirscher.

“I’m skiing fast,” Ligety said. “If I keep skiing this fast, then it’s mostly me that’s going to get in my own way. I think those guys have a chance to get up there and tackle me and take me down. I think there will be tough races ahead.”

Ligety, who won the first giant slalom of the season in Austria, had a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.59 seconds for two runs to beat Hirscher by 1.76 seconds. Italy’s Davide Simoncelli was third in 2:27.66.

The final racer of the day, the 28-year-old Ligety charged down the tricky slope, gaining speed as he went and building on his first-run advantage.

He celebrated at the bottom of the hill by bending down and kissing the snow.

“Ted is Mr GS,” said Hirscher, the reigning overall champion. “He should have to ski two or three gates more than the other skiers.”

Ligety has been dominant so far this season. He captured the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, by a massive 2.75 seconds.

He won two consecutive overall giant slalom titles, before Hirscher snapped his win streak last season.

Ligety now has seven podium finishes in Beaver Creek.

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal said Ligety’s new set of skis gives him an advantage over his competitors.

“I think these [new skis] are better for Ted,” said Svindal, who finished sixth on Sunday after placing second in the downhill and Super-G at Beaver Creek.

“Because Ted has a lot of force on the ski. That’s where these skis are better than old ones. The old ones were better coming into the turn and I think Ted is really good with staying with it,” he said.

Ligety had no difficulty in the second run, easily pulling away from the 30-man field.

“At the moment, it is very, very hard to beat Ted,” Hirscher said. “I think there is no opportunity to stay [in] first place or make a victory.

“He is the fastest GS skier right now,” he said.

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