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Shinichiro Tanaka, Associated Press
United States' Ted Ligety speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011.

SOELDEN, Austria — Ted Ligety won the season-opening men's giant slalom Sunday for his ninth World Cup victory.

The American, who is defending his third World Cup slalom title this season, maintained his lead from the first run to finish in an aggregate 2 minutes, 22.00 seconds.

Alexis Pinturault of France posted the fastest final-run time to take second, 0.29 behind Ligety.

Austria's Philipp Schoerhofer was 0.51 back in third.