Winter sports: Ted Ligety wins World Cup giant slalom
Adelboden, Switzerland • Ted Ligety won a duel with Marcel Hirscher in a World Cup giant slalom Saturday for a career-best fourth victory of the season in his specialty event.
The 28-year-old American skied cleanly in the fast-fading light to take the victory after first-run leader Hirscher of Austria made a mistake on the dark slope. Ligety, a Park City resident, was second after the first run, but finished 1.15 seconds ahead of runner-up Fritz Dopfer of Germany in a combined time of 2 minutes 28.67 seconds on a course where he had never finished in the top three.
"I was definitely gifted it by Hirscher today because he would have beaten me by a good margin," Ligety said. "But I have gifted him a lot of races in the past also. I guess that's ski racing."
Ligety, who earned his 15th career World Cup victory all in giant slalom is third in the overall standings.
American Alice McKennis earned her first World Cup victory by winning a downhill Saturday in St. Anton, Austria, and Lindsey Vonn placed sixth on her return from a nearly monthlong break.
"I am overwhelmed, extremely happy and excited," McKennis said. "It's definitely a dream come true."
McKennis had never finished in the top three before coming down the Karl Schranz course in 1 minute, 14.62 seconds to beat Daniela Merighetti of Italy by 0.07. Anna Fenninger of Austria was third, and overall World Cup leader Tina Maze of Slovenia finished fourth.
Vonn, the defending overall champion who returned to the circuit after recovering from an intestinal illness, was 0.34 behind. American teammate Laurenne Ross was fifth.
Overall leader Natalie Geisenberger led a German sweep of the top four places to post her fourth World Cup victory of the season on Saturday in Oberhof, Germany.
Julia Clukey of the United States was sixth and teammate Erin Hamlin was seventh.