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Last Cups Before Olympics: Ligety Wins GS in ‘Hackfest’, Shiffrin Hits Rut

Bernadette and Marlies SchildThe curtain came down on the World Cup Sunday as the alpine circuit breaks for the Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia starting later this week.

USA’s Ted Ligety popped an exclamation point on readiness by winning a very foggy giant slalom in St. Moritz, while Mikaela Shiffrin, who led after the fist slalom run in Kranjska Gora, Solvenia, hit a rut in the finale and finished seventh.

Ligety, four-time Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom champion powered his way to a convincing win through the thick fog. He topped Austria’s Michel Hirscher by a whopping 1.51 second margin. The race start was delayed 30 minutes by the fog and there were intermittent delays during the race. Saturday’s scheduled downhill was scrapped with too much snow on the course.

“That was a bumpy ride,” said Ligety. “It’s so tough when you can’t see anything; it just makes it more tiring. That was a hackfest battle, for sure, so I’m glad I was actually able to make it to the finish line, let alone win.”

American Tim Jitloff finished 17th, but Bode Miller did not finish the first run. Next up for Ligety is likely to be the Olympic super combined Feb. 14.

The alpine women got a slalom race in Sunday at Kranjska Gora after Saturday’s GS was cancelled. Reigning World Champion Shiffrin was leading after the first run, but struck a deep rut in the finale slowing her to seventh. Swede Frida Hansdotter, who has eight previous World Cup podiums to her name, claimed the first win of her career.

But, it was a sister act that stole the show. Veteran star Marlies Schild, 33, finished second, while her younger sister, Bernadette, 18, finished third. The showdown Olympic slalom is not scheduled until Feb. 21.

Follow the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams throughout the Olympics right here at SnoCountry.com.

Photo: Sisters Bernadette and Marlies Schild (Marlies Schild/Facebook)

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