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Ligety wins giant slalom for second year in a row

Latest update : 2009-03-01

The World Cup slalom giant in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) was won by American Ted Ligety for the second year running. Swiss Didier Cuche, who finished second, takes the lead in the discipline's overall standings.

AFP - American Ted Ligety ended his season drought by winning the World Cup giant slalom for the second year running, on Saturday.

Ligety finished 0.19sec ahead of Switzerland's Super-G world champion and downhill world silver medallist Didier Cuche, with Italian Massimiliano Blardone finishing in third place at 0.34.

Ligety, who won bronze in the giant slalom at the recent world championships, said that it was a relief to have grabbed his first win of what he largely saw as a frustrating campaign.

"This season, it was frustrating in a way, more specially in slalom than in GS," said Ligety.

"But also in GS it was more up and down than last year. The hill is my favourite, one of the best hills. It is so technical, it has really steep parts."

Ligety revealed that he did have useful inside information.

"My serviceman is now a Slovenian guy. It was really warm today and for any reason, it seems I win when it's warm.

"For sure it is an advantage (when your coach designed the second run). He knows you better. He knows my speciality is turning a lot, when it is straight it is more a speciality of Didier Cuche."

However, Ligety appeared to concede the giant slalom World Cup title to Cuche.

"For the GS World Cup, Didier Cuche is more determined this year, and I don't fancy my chances up there (in Are, Sweden for the World Cup finals), I am too far back."

Cuche, who won the giant slalom at Sestriere last week, took the lead in the discipline standings and made significant strides in his bid for the overall crown, moving to within 86 points of leader Ivica Kostelic of Croatia.

Kostelic saw his advantage compromised by a modest 20th place Saturday and he will be looking to bounce back on a weekend of speed events at Kvitfjell, Norway next weekend.

Austria's reigning Olympic giant slalom champion, Benjamin Raich, sits third in the overall standings but had a day to forget. Following a promising fourth place in the first run Saturday he followed up with a mediocre second run that left him down in 15th.

Date created : 2009-02-28