Ligety edges closer to Giant Slalom Crystal Globe with third in Kranjska Gora
Ted Ligety raised the bar with his three wins in the first three races of the Giant Slalom season and since then he has been the man to beat in the classic discipline. With three wins in Kranjska Gora over the last three years, Ligety admits that this hill is good to him. Ligety may have been just twelve hundredths behind winner Carlo Janka but the sixty points gathered for third place now make him the odds on favourite for a third straight Giant Slalom Globe.
The first course was set by the Austrian, Florien Raich and was tight. Many of the racers struggled to get into the rhythm and while Philipp Schoerghofer led from Carlo Janka, Ted Ligety was very much in touch and looking forward to attacking the second run. Kjetil Jansrud was just behind Ligety and also in very confident mood for the second run.
With fresh snow in Kranjska Gora a few days prior to the race, this changed the complexion of the slope. "They did a really good job with the surface," Ligety said. The new snow caused a lot of variations in grip down the course yet this did not affect Ligety too much.
Jansrud was on a charge on his second run yet after having a massive eight tenths lead at the first split, he over rotated and then crashed out. This raised the game for Ligety and he stormed out the gate, holding his lead at the first split but this had been severely dented by the second and by the time he crossed the line at the bottom, young French star Alexis Pinturault held on to the lead (he had started in 16th spot in the second run.)
“I was a bit disappointed to have lost so much on the second run,” explained Ligety “but still to be on the podium is special.” With the World Championship Gold medal already in the bag and a healthy lead in the World Cup Giant Slalom standings, which does Ligety value more? “The World Championships is not something I have won before and so that is important to me, I already have two Crystal Globes!” There is no doubt that he wants a third to join them!
1. Carlo Janka
2. Alexis Pinturault
3. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
22. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
23. Florian Eisath (ITA) HEAD
28 Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD