By GRAHAM DUNBAR, Associated Press
LENZERHEIDE, Switzerland (AP) — Ted Ligety capped his season-long dominance in giant slalom with a sixth World Cup win Saturday.
The American racer already locked up the discipline title before beating overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher by 0.37 seconds on Saturday.
Ligety smoothly raced down the steep slope in a two-run time of 2 minutes, 14.76 seconds. Frenchman Alexis Pinturault trailed by 1.16 in third.
Ligety had three previous GS discipline titles, but this was his best season yet and included three world championships gold medals.
"It's been so great, just from Soelden at the start winning by 2.7 (seconds)," said Ligety, referring to the traditional season-opener in Austria.
He also broke 1,000 World Cup points overall and will finish third in the standings. Both are career bests.
Ligety completed an American victory double in glorious sunshine at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide. Mikaela Shiffrin delivered a come-from-behind victory to edge Tina Maze for the women's slalom title earlier Saturday.
That ensured the American national anthem was played four times in quick succession for the crowd of 9,000 spectators.
Ligety's dominance was helped by his ability to adapt best to equipment changes introduced for this season with longer and stiffer skis meant to make the discipline safer.
Some had predicted it would also make the GS races less exciting, but Ligety defied those critics by delivering some of the most dynamic skiing seen all season in any discipline.
"I had some of the most unbelievable runs this year," said Ligety, who collected a trophy this week when fellow skiers voted his first-leg performance at Alta Badia, Italy, in December as the most exciting all season. "I was able to keep it going the whole year."
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