Mar 8, 2014, 7:32 AM EST
Olympic champion Ted Ligety showed no rust, winning the first World Cup race he entered since Sochi on Saturday to accomplish a feat no man has ever done in ski racing.
Ligety won a giant slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for a sixth time. No other man has won six times in the same discipline at one venue in their careers.
“This hill is definitely a really cool hill, has so much personality and it’s a really fun hill to ski,” Ligety said. “It has steep parts. It has rolls. It has a little bit of a gliding section. It’s a hill that’s a true GS skier’s hill.”
Ligety clocked a two-run time of 2 minutes, 30.80 seconds to hold off Austrian Benjamin Raich by .18 of a second. Raich jumped from 17th place after the first run. Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen was third.
American Tim Jitloff was eighth, the fifth time he’s made a World Cup top 10 in his career. Six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was 24th.
Ligety moved into second place in the season standings in the giant slalom, 50 points behind Austrian leader Marcel Hirscher. Hirscher was fourth Saturday, and if he’s third or better in the World Cup Finals giant slalom next week he’s assured of winning the season title.
Hirscher made the podium in the first six giant slalom races this season before Saturday’s near miss.
“Now the GS title isn’t so far away, but it’s still kind of far away, especially with the mistakes I’ve made so far this year,” said Ligety, who has won the giant slalom season title four of the last six years. “Wins are always important, even if they don’t go for the title.”
Hirscher also made gains in the overall standings race as he seeks to become the third man to win three straight titles and the first since American Phil Mahre from 1981-83.
Hirscher is now 41 points behind leader Aksel Lund Svindal and should gain even more, if not pass Svindal, in Sunday’s slalom in Kranjska Gora. After that, the final four races of the season are at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, next week.
Ligety is in fourth in the overall standings with no realistic shot at the overall title, but he’s got that Olympic gold, which “makes you feel more happy about your season, but it doesn’t really change anything in the World Cup races,” Ligety said after the first run Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
Kranjska Gora Giant Slalom
1. Ted Ligety (USA) 2:30.80
2. Benjamin Raich (AUT) 2:30.98
3. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 2:31.05
4. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 2:31.43
5. Fritz Dopfer (GER) 2:31.58
6. Roberto Nani (ITA) 2:31.78
7. Mathieu Faivre (FRA) 2:31.88
8. Tim Jitloff (USA) 2:32.01
9. Steve Missillier (FRA) 2:32.12
10. Marcus Sandell (FIN) 2:32.39
24. Bode Miller (USA) 2:33.53
Jan 25, 2015, 7:40 PM EST
Brown is the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:35 PM EST
Instead, past Winter X Games champions prevailed in Aspen.
Jan 25, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Jason Brown tries to become the youngest U.S. men’s champion since 2004.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
An inside look at the skier’s comeback from two major knee surgeries.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:36 AM EST
Vonn captured victory No. 64 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Jan 24, 2015, 11:50 PM EST
Wagner becomes the oldest women’s champion since Michelle Kwan.
Jan 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EST
Kim outdueled the greatest snowboarder of all time.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Gracie Gold wants to deny history for Ashley Wagner.
Jan 24, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Pairs free skate and free dance national titles to be awarded.
Jan 24, 2015, 6:23 AM EST
Vonn missed an opportunity to all but clinch the World Cup season downhill title.
Jan 23, 2015, 11:58 PM EST
Brown is poised to become the youngest U.S. men’s champion in 11 years.
Jan 23, 2015, 3:12 PM EST
Jacobellis has now won 13 gold medals in 18 major championships.
Jan 23, 2015, 9:54 AM EST
Olympic medalists threw out ceremonial first pitches last season.
Jan 23, 2015, 8:44 AM EST
Miller now looks ahead to the World Championships.
Jan 22, 2015, 11:57 PM EST
White had the same finish as he did in Sochi.
Jan 22, 2015, 11:44 PM EST
The free skate is live on NBC on Saturday night.
Jan 22, 2015, 2:43 PM EST
Weir and Lipinski will be based at the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate Party.
Jan 22, 2015, 8:47 AM EST
But LeMond might be willing to talk to Armstrong.
Jan 22, 2015, 8:28 AM EST
No other U.S. Olympian from Sochi can say they’ve performed better in top competitions in the last year.
Jan 21, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
A mix of youth and experience vying for the title and three World Championships spots.
- Jason Brown wins first U.S. figure skating title 0
- Lindsey Vonn wins final race before World Championships (video) 0
- Ashley Wagner shatters records for third U.S. figure skating title 3
- Chloe Kim wins Winter X Games halfpipe at age 14 0
- Lindsey Vonn struggles in St. Moritz downhill (video) 0
- Jason Brown leads U.S. short program; quad debate stoked 1
- Bode Miller will not race Kitzbuehel downhill, hopeful for World Champs 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)