BEAVER CREEK, Colo. โ Ted Ligety simply can't be caught these days. Not on these new giant slalom skis, anyway.
At least, that's the prevailing feeling among a good portion of his competitors.
Ligety easily captured his second straight World Cup GS race with a flawless and fast final run Sunday. He finished in a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.59 seconds to hold off top rival Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 1.76 seconds. Davide Simoncelli of Italy was third.
"Ted is Mr. GS," said Hirscher, the reigning overall champion. "He should have to ski two or three gates more than the other skiers."
Certainly a good idea, given the way he's crushing the competition.
So, is he unbeatable?
"At the moment, yes," Hirscher said.
The last racer of the day, Ligety gained speed throughout the tricky course and built on his first-run advantage. Soon after finishing off his blazing run, Ligety bowed down and kissed the snow.
Everyone is pretty much bowing to him, because no one is coming close to him in his favorite event.
And, really, this one was never in doubt.
"Ted is super. I (wanted) just to do my best โ maybe for second place, because first place was impossible," Simoncelli said. "Ted is on another level."
Indeed. Although, he doesn't see it that way.
"I'm skiing fast. But I don't know if I'm skiing at a different level," said Ligety, who now has seven podium finishes in Beaver Creek, including three wins. "If I keep skiing this fast, then, I guess, yeah, it's mostly me that's going to get in my own way. I think those guys have a chance to get up there and tackle me and take me down. I think it will be tough races ahead."
Ligety expected the rule changes altering the shape of giant slalom skis would make them more difficult to turn and far less forgiving.
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: At Lake Louise, Alberta, Lindsey Vonn completed a sweep of World Cup races at Lake Louise for the second straight year.
Vonn won Sunday's super-G in a time of 1 minute, 22.82 seconds. She also won two downhill races over the weekend for the hat trick.
American teammate Julia Mancuso was second in the super-G in 1:23.25, while Anna Fenninger of Austria was third in 1:23.27.
SHORT-TRACK SPEEDSKATING: At Nagoya, Japan,Robert Seifert of Germany and Wang Meng of China won 500-meter races in World Cup short-track speedskating on Sunday, while South Korea dominated the 1,500.
LUGE: At Koenigssee, Germany, European champion Andi Langenhan led a German sweep of the top 3 positions on Sunday in the second luge World Cup event of the season.