Ligety wins season opener in Soelden
Sun, 23 Oct 08:23:00 2011
Giant slalom world champion and World Cup holder Ted Ligety started his new campaign in style when he won the season curtain-raiser in Soelden.
The American dominated the first leg and controlled the second to bag his ninth World Cup giant slalom victory in two minutes and 22 seconds.
French hopeful Alexis Pinturault, 20, managed his second career podium 0.29 seconds adrift, while Austria's Philipp Shoerghofer was third, 0.51 off the pace.
Ligety had never finished top in Soelden despite three podium places but he did win the first giant slalom of last season in Beaver Creek after the men's race on the Austrian glacier was cancelled.
"I knew my giant slalom was going pretty well. It was very dark in the middle section and I had to fight super hard," said the skier from Park City, who admitted being very tired because of the altitude.
"Soelden is always a good place to start my year. We've been training here so it's like my home base," he added.
The United States team have a deal with Soelden to use the resort's training facilities and it paid off as fellow American Lindsey Vonn won the women's race on Saturday.
The last two overall World Cup winners, Croatia's Ivica Kostelic and Swiss Carlo Janka, finished fifth and fourth respectively, showing they would again be serious contenders this winter.
Alpine skiing - solden: Me