Ligety scores 6th GS season victory
Lenzerheide, Switzerland – The season’s final giant slalom for the men delivered the exact same top three as the season’s overall ranking in the event: the day’s race as the season title was won by Mr GS Ted Ligety, who was accompanied on the podium twice by Austrian tech star Marcel Hirscher and the French talent Alexis Pinturault. For Ligety the day’s win was already the season’s 6th, in eight giant slalom races held.
“It’s so ridiculous; it has been such an amazing year,” Ligety said. “I never would have expected it and in a way it’s kind of a bummer as I will never be able to do that again. A really cool season and to finish it up with a victory… I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Under blue skies and rapidly rising temperatures thanks to the spring sun, Ligety did not let anyone take the day’s victory from him. Leading comfortably after the first run, Ligety laid down the 2nd fastest run in the second run, only beaten by Marcel Hirscher who rose from 4th after the first run to the runner-up position in today's race. Ligety's final time was 2:14,76 minutes, as Hirscher lost 0,37 seconds and Pinturault was already more than a second behind, with a final time of 2:15,92.
Today's victory and globe only came on top of the three gold medals Ligety won at the World Championships in Schladming.
"It’s so tough to chose between the GS globe and my three gold medals, they are all so awesome and they all mean so much. But the globe I think is really cool as you have to be good all year while for the World Championships you could get lucky here and there. Anyhow it’s an awesome feeling to have the season I just had!”
After the first run, Pinturault trailed Ligety by 0.66 seconds in 2nd position with Philipp Schoerghofer of Austria sitting in 3rd, 0.89 seconds behind. In the final results in today's race, Schoerghofer dropped to 4th. With his win in Lenzerheide, Ligety joins Ingemar Stenmark (SWE) as the only two men to win six or more World Cup giant slalom races in one season.
"It was a good race today, I am happy," commented Marcel Hirscher. "It was getting a bit soft in the second run but I am happy since I beat Ted in the run, that's good for me."
When asked about how it is to race now when the pressure for the overall globe is off, Hirscher countered: "It is hard. I cannot sleep. My head is so full, I keep thinking and thinking and trying to digest it all. So much has happened this season and I have not had any time to get into terms with it."
For Philipp Schoerghofer the season ended on a positive note with a clear tendency of returning to the very top: "Of course I would have liked to finish the season on the podium but I am still happy about this. Last year at the Finals I finished the season with a 20th rank so this is a good basis and the right direction to start preparing for the Olympic season."
In the giant slalom World Cup rankings, Ted Ligety was already the clear winner after the previous GS race held in Kranjska Gora (SLO) a week ago. In the final standings, Ligety clinched the small crystal globe from Joska with 720 points, with Marcel Hirscher finishing 2nd for the season with 575 points and Alexis Pinturault taking his first World Cup crystal medal with 326 points.