Ted Ligety with his trophy after winning the men's Giant Slalom at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on October 28, 2012 in Solden, Austria. Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images
SOELDEN, Austria - Three-time Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety, of Park City, Utah, served notice on the field with an historic 2.75-second margin of victory in the World Cup opener in Soelden for his 12th career win. Ligety mastered the controversial new GS skis, soft snow conditions, variable light and a raging blizzard to post one of the largest margins in the sport's history. He repeated as champion on the Rettenbach Glacier and marked his sixth-straight podium in Soelden. It was the biggest victory margin in World Cup GS in 34 years. While Ligety will remain in Europe to train for the World Cup slalom in Finland in two weeks, the speed team is congregating this week for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain next Wednesday.
“I'm psyched, Ted Ligety said. ”I didn't want to leave anything out there - I was hammering! I knew I was skiing well. I've been skiing fast in training. I've been working really hard on these new skis to get to the point I knew I was going to be among the best.“
Ted Ligety races down the course while competing in the men's Giant Slalom at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on October 28, 2012 in Solden, Austria. Photo by Mitchell Gunn/ESPA
Ted Ligety powered through a raging blizzard to move up from second in the first run to win the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opening giant slalom in Soelden by an historic 2.75 seconds.
Ligety was .04 behind France's Thomas Fantara after the first run with Fantara unable to match Ligety, finishing fourth.
After Ligety skied in near darkness in the first run, light came in and out on the course that was ragged with new snow alongside the track. The second run was run in a near whiteout with a raging blizzard.
Ligety's 2.75-second margin was the seventh greatest of all time in GS but the first of that magnitude in 34 years when the legendary Swede Ingemark Stenmark posted two separate margins of around four seconds.
Ligety will remain in the Team's training base at Soelden to train for the upcoming World Cup slalom in Finland while the speed skiers gather in Colorado for the opening of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain next Wednesday.
Ted Ligety reacts in the finish area of the men's Giant Slalom at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on October 28, 2012 in Solden, Austria. Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images