The expected battle between Ligety and Hirscher took place. In the end, as for the 4th time, Ted Ligety is the winner of the opening Giant slalom in Sölden. "I guess I found the right combination today" said Ligety. He added: "I love it here. It's an awesome race, a tough hill, and I love that excitation you feel at the first race of the season".
Ligety was 0.15 ahead of the Frenchman Thomas Fanara, who didn't lose his concentration and confirmed his farewell performance on the first run. The GS specialist has been in the Top 5 of the GS Standings for the past 3 years, but he has rarely been so close to his first World Cup win. "It feels good to be on the podium. It's never easy to be fast in the first race, you never really know about your shape. It helps to have a strong French team, we have good references at training".
Marcel Hirscher ended up in the 3rd place, 17 hundredth behind Ligety. The Austrian super star could count on the support of his home crowd. "I'm super happy with this 3rd place because the preparation has been totally weird this year. Sometimes I skied really good and was half a second ahead of the others Austrian guys, sometimes I was two seconds behind". With this first race of the season, Overall winner of 2012-13-14-15 got the confirmation that he will be fast this season too.
The Austrian also used the opportunity to congratulate his teammate Ronald Leitinger, who made an incredible jump forward in the 2nd run and ended up 6th with bib number 39.
Sölden again offered an outstanding World Cup Opening, with more than 31'500 spectators' during the week-end, a perfectly prepared race slope and a motivated and skilled organising committee. The tyroler venue opened the season in the best possible way.After this exciting conclusion to the World Cup’s opening weekend, the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour will head to Levi (Finland) for a Men's and a Ladies Slalom.