Ted Ligety is beaming as he hoists a hard fought crystal globe after a GS win in the season finale of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup in Lenzerheide. (Getty Images/AFP-Fabrice Coffrini)
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (March 15) - The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom title came down to a dramatic last run shootout Saturday, with Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) taking the victory and winning a points tiebreaker with Austria's Marcel Hirscher to claim his fifth crystal globe. Hirscher lost his hold on the globe when he finished the race fourth by a mere hundredth of a second. Universal Sports will air coverage at 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom title came down to a dramatic last run shootout on Saturday, with Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) taking the victory and winning a points tiebreaker with Austria's Marcel Hirscher to claim his fifth crystal globe.
He shared the honor with Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO), who won her fifth race of the season Saturday and collected the slalom title.
Ligety not only needed to win the race, he also needed Hirscher to finish fourth or lower. That’s exactly what happened when the last racer of the day, German Felix Neureuther, bumped Hirscher from the podium by a mere hundredth of a second.
Ligety and Hirscher tied with 560 points for the season, but the globe was awarded to Ligety because of his five giant slalom victories. Hirscher only had two.
It was the second consecutive giant slalom globe for Ligety, his fifth career World Cup globe.
Hirscher took second in the overall giant slalom standings with young-gun Alexis Pinturault of France in third.
With the win Ligety became the second man in history to have two seasons with five or more World Cup giant slalom wins. Ingemar Stenmark has done it three times.
It was Ligety’s 22nd win, just one behind Michael von Grünigen of Switzerland (23), who is second place on the all-time list behind Stenmark, who has 46.
Saturday’s giant slalom also saw Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) and Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) ski into 14th and 15th respectively, while Alexis Pinturault of France rounded out the podium in second.
Universal Sports will air coverage of the race at 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. EDT.
The men switch over to slalom on Sunday for the final race of the World Cup season, where Ligety, Miller and David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) are set to start.
QUOTES Ted Ligety I definitely knew at the start of the day that I had a chance, but you know it’s not a good chance when it comes to Marcel. The only way you can win is by winning. I knew it was going to be a major uphill battle for sure.
I'm super thrilled. This is a goal every year to win the giant slalom globe but it was by the skin of my teeth today. It was a tough race this year. I was able to win quite a bit but it's a testament to the fortitude of Marcel to get on the podium in every race so I'm happy to walk away with it.
You don't worry about the math when you're skiing. It was a super tight race. I knew Alexis' run was going to be tough to beat.