Ted Ligety wins World Cup giant slalom title

By Graham Dunbar

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 18 2011 12:55 a.m. MDT

LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland — Ted Ligety of the United States won the World Cup giant slalom title Friday, adding to the world championships gold medal he got last month.

The 26-year-old completed a season sweep of titles in his specialist event when the final World Cup GS race was canceled by poor weather and snow conditions.

"Having accomplished both of these things is pretty awesome," Ligety told The Associated Press. "I definitely wanted to get the medal. And you're always wanting to go for the season's title because it's a better indicator of your skiing."

Ligety won his third World Cup crystal globe trophy in four years after leading the standings all season long.

He reeled off a three-win streak in the first completed races at Beaver Creek, Colo.; Val d'Isere, France; and Alta Badia, Italy. He was also third, trailing by just 0.12 seconds, at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

Ligety dominated in many races with a clean, aggressive style of skiing. In Alta Badia, he knocked Olympic champion Carlo Janka out of the leader's box with a run that had the Swiss racer visibly astonished at the American's time.

"I was definitely happy with the way I won it this year," Ligety said. "Last year, I didn't feel like I skied all that amazingly. This time, I skied the way I wanted to."

The Park City, Utah, native arrived at World Cup finals week 77 points ahead of Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, needing to finish 11th or better to seal the title.

Race organizers called off the race at 7 a.m. local time after struggling with persistent rain and warm temperatures.

Ligety was sleeping when he got news of his title from U.S. men's ski team head coach Sasha Rearick.

"I woke up to a text from Sasha — then rolled over and went back to sleep. The coaches then asked me to come down for a little champagne," he said.

World Cup organizers were still trying to run Friday's scheduled women's slalom that could be decisive in the race for the overall title.

Three-time defending champion Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. holds a slender 27-point lead on Germany's Maria Riesch with just the slalom and Saturday's giant slalom left to race.

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