Dec 22, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT
Marcel Hirscher won his second straight World Cup giant slalom, helping keep Ted Ligety off the top step of a GS podium again in Alta Badia, Italy, on Sunday.
Ligety finished third, .63 of a second behind the Austrian. France’s Alexis Pinturault was second as the top three did not change from after the first run.
“I’m happy to see that Ted is beatable and human,” Hirscher said, according to The Associated Press. “We worked really hard over the past year and sometimes we didn’t know if we were doing exactly the right thing. There are so many different (variables).”
American Tim Jitloff matched his best-ever World Cup result in fifth. Bode Miller did not qualify for the second run.
Ligety, the reigning world and World Cup giant slalom champion, is mired in his longest GS race victory drought since the 2011-12 season — two races.
“I’m happy with third,” Ligety said, according to the AP. “I don’t feel like I skied my best but that’s not easy to do every time.
“I’ve had a tough European trip and it’s nice to put in a decent result. It’s not been an easy December for me.”
Ligety, who has won four of the past six season giant slalom titles, trails Hirscher in this season’s race by 60 points after four of eight races.
Jitloff, 28, fell to the snow in exhaustion and/or exultation after his second run.
That’s understandable. Jitloff’s only other top-five was a solo fifth in a giant slalom on Feb. 21, 2009.
“I just felt like I was on and I was doing it right,” said Jitloff, according to the AP. “To come to the place that is the definition of giant slalom racing and throw down a fifth, I couldn’t be happier.”
Miller, who finished second in a giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Dec. 8, did not make the top 30 to earn a second run.
“I was just telling [wife] Morgan, it’s not her fault or [son] Nate’s fault, but I don’t spend nearly the time thinking about skiing that I did in the past,” Miller said, according to the AP. “And I keep making really stupid mistakes.”
The men’s Alpine skiing World Cup continues with a downhill in Bormio, Italy, next Sunday.
Alta Badia Giant Slalom
1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 2:37.45
2. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 2:37.80
3. Ted Ligety (USA) 2:38.03
4. Fritz Dopfer (GER) 2:38.82
5. Tim Jitloff (USA) 2:39.10
5. Felix Neureuther (GER) 2:39.10
7. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 2:39.44
8. Stefan Luitz (GER) 2:39.47
9. Leif Kristian Haugen (NOR) 2:39.59
10. Steve Missillier (FRA) 2:39.71
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