With giant slalom victory in Kranjska Gora, Ted Ligety is now the first man in Audi FIS Alpine World Cup history to win six times at the same venue. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Stanko Gruden)
KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (March 8) - Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) captured a historic giant slalom victory Saturday in Kranjska Gora to become the first man in Audi FIS Alpine World Cup history to have won six times at the same venue. The stunning 23rd win of his career also moved Ligety within 50 points of Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who finished fourth, for the 2014 World Cup giant slalom title. The title will be decided March 15 at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Universal Sports Network will broadcast the Kranjska Gora giant slalom at 11 a.m. ET.
Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) won the Kranjska Gora giant slalom to become the first man in Audi FIS Alpine World Cup history to win six times at the same venue.
Athletes with five wins at the same venue are Ingemar Stenmark (Adelboden, Kitzbuehel and Madonna di Campiglio), Alberto Tomba (Sestriere), Hermann Maier (Kitzbuehel), Didier Cuch (Kitzbuehel) and Aksel Lund Svindal (Lake Louise).
The historic 23rd World Cup win of his career moves Ligety within 50 points of Austrian Marcel Hirscher going into the final giant slalom race of the season on March 15 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
The down-to-the-wire World Cup Finals battle will be for the fifth World Cup giant slalom title of Ligety's career.
Ligety opened a .42 second first run lead and then held on to win the race by .18 over Austrian Benjamin Raich. Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen was third ahead of Hirscher.
Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) finished a solid eighth to jump to 19th in the giant slalom standings and qualify for the top 25 World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide.
Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) was 24th in the race and can also race the giant slalom at World Cup Finals becuase he has over 500 World Cup points.
A slalom will be contested Sunday in Kranjska Gora to close the World Cup regular season.
Universal Sports Network will broadcast the race at 11 a.m. ET.
QUOTES Ted Ligety This is definitely a really cool hill. It has so much personality and it’s really a fun hill to ski. It has the steep parts. It has some rolls. It has a little bit of a gliding section. So it’s a true GS skier’s hill. I just try to stay ahead of the rut as always. I’m not the kind of person that tries to cut off line, so I just tried to ski smart and be clean as much as I could.
Now the GS title isn’t so far away, but it’s still kind of far away with the mistakes I’ve made so far this year. I’m just skiing race to race and wins are always important even if they don’t go for the title. At this point the giant slalom globe isn’t a huge goal of mine. I have to win and he has to falter, which is not a really good strategy. If it was anybody else besides Marcel I would say it’s doable, but Marcel is not the kind of guy that gives anybody any gifts.
Tim Jitloff I went into the day and I was kind of on the cusp up there in 22nd, and I just knew that it wasn’t a walk. So there is that stress of knowing, ‘Okay, I need to have a pretty decent day here to make sure that I get the job done.’ In the first run I think I was a little bit nervous because of that and I didn’t ski so great. I think that was just not me. I wasn’t really flowing. I was a little bummed out after the first run, but I knew how it always is here in Kranjska. The first run is always kind of a toss up anyway. If you have an early enough number you can really make big moves in the second run, and that’s exactly what happened. I used it to my benefit. I skied as free as I can and made a big jump, obviously.
When you think about the previous years, actually the last couple, I was in 28th or 29th, but I needed to have a great day. In this go-around I knew I needed to ski solid, but sometimes just trying to be solid isn’t really a good thing. You need to just be free and take the risk. You’ve got to charge. In years past I’ve taken too much risk on that hill in the second run.