Ligety wins giant slalom, moves into lead
Vail, CO Colorado
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia ” Ted Ligety of the United States won a World Cup giant slalom event Saturday for his second career victory.
Ligety was third after the first run and second in the next for a combined time of 2 minutes, 24.31 seconds, edging Manfred Moelgg of Italy by 0.15. Massimiliano Blardone of Italy was 0.80 behind in third.
It’s Ligety’s first win since a giant slalom victory in South Korea two years ago.
“It’s been a long time, a long journey for me,” said Ligety, the Olympic combined champion.
In his best season so far on the World Cup circuit, Ligety also took over the giant slalom standings and is fifth overall with 831 points.
World Cup overall leader Bode Miller jumped to 11th from 19th after the first run when he posted the fourth- best second run time. Miller almost fell in the upper part of the first run and was on the verge of crashing out at the bottom.
“That’s probably a two-second mistake,” Miller said. “When you make a mistake like that, you have to push hard afterward to make up time, and I just kept making mistakes after that also.”
Miller’s rivals for the overall World Cup title ” Benjamin Raich of Austria and Didier Cuche of France ” gained ground after finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
Miller retained his overall lead with 1,497 points. He’s ahead of Cuche by 138 points with five races remaining, including the slalom Sunday and four events next week at the World Cup finals in Bormio, Italy.
Raich is third with 1,303 points. Each World Cup victory is worth 100 points.
Ligety made a mistake in the first run at the steep bottom part of the course, finishing third, 0.20 behind Blardone. But the American went on the attack in the second run on his favorite Podkoren course.
“It’s a very technical hill, which I’m excited to race,” Ligety said. “Kranjska Gora has been a breakthrough hill for me, I’ve had a lot of good results here.”
Ligety had his first top 10 World Cup finish in slalom at the Slovenian resort in February 2005, and also finished third in the slalom in December that year. He was fourth here last year in the giant slalom.
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