Ligety storms to win and takes Giant Slalom Crystal Globe.
Ted Ligety recaptured the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe with his fifth win of the season in Giant Slalom. The HEAD World Cup Rebel has also taken two third places as well as the World Championship in an extremely dominant season. With one race to go his nearest challenger, Marcel Hirscher is 125 points behind. Hirscher was second in the race with Alexis Pinturault in third.
The fifth win of the season also sees Ligety move ahead of Alberto Tomba to third on his own in the all time list of Giant Slalom wins with 16. This is his fourth Giant Slalom World Cup Crystal Globe after winning in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Talking after the race, Ligety said: ““This hill is awesome it has a little of everything to offer so to win here again is incredible and I'm really proud of it. Securing the GS title one race in advance is a big weight off my back. I had an awesome season in giant slalom but Hirscher was constantly with me the whole season. Even when I beat him by two seconds he was still there in second and it makes it tougher going for the title. It was a head game when he was so close all along.”
As the day progressed the weather conditions came into play and while the course conditions were deteriorating, it did not look as though this was affecting Ligety: “It's tough - racing in the rain isn't my favorite thing,” he commented on the rain. “I grew up in Park City Utah and only skied in 25 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny so today was a whole lot different than what I am used to.
While the weather played its part in the outcome of the race, the fact that the organisers had 600 volunteers on hand to help keep the course in shape was great. With rain falling on the second run, this helped to get the salt that had been spread on the course, to work and keep the course skiable up until the last racers.
This is the business end of the season and drawing bib number 1, Aksel Lund Svindal had Hirscher, his rival for the Overall in his sights after the first run. Damage limitation was the name of the game. Svindal had to resort to wiping the rain off his goggles on the second run as the rain came down hard. The lead was 29 points ahead of the race and now Svindal has a deficit of 69 points with five races of the season to go.
1. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA)
6. Axel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
22. Marcel Mathis (AUT) HEAD
23. Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
24. Mathieu Faivre (FRA) HEAD