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Friday, March 14, 2008
Updated: March 16, 12:55 PM ET
Ligety wins giant slalom title; Bode misses gate

Associated Press

BORMIO, Italy -- Ted Ligety of the United States rallied to win the final World Cup giant slalom Friday and capture the discipline title.

Ted Ligety
Ted Ligety used a fast second run to move up from seventh to first and claim the giant slalom title.

Bode Miller, who won the overall title on Thursday, missed a gate in the second run. Miller had a comfortable lead after the first run before the mishap.

"He was clearly the fastest skier this season," U.S. men's coach Phil McNichol said. "Now that he's won his first cup, he can branch out and go for the overall. Ted showed all season how consistent he is, and in my opinion those are the characteristics of a champion."

Ligety moved from seventh to first in a blazing second run to beat Benjamin Raich of Austria, his nearest challenger for the giant slalom title. The American completed the two runs down the Stelvio course in 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds to beat Raich by 0.31 seconds.

"Second run, I knew I had to hammer it down and I took a lot of risks," Ligety said. "I was pretty lucky to come through."

With Lindsey Vonn clinching the women's overall title earlier in the day, the Americans enjoyed a day of success at the World Cup finals.

Ligety, the Olympic combined champion, won the last two GS races of the season and finished with 485 points, while Raich was second with 438.

"This is an amazing day," McNichol said. "It went down to the last guys."

Raich was second after the first run and would have clinched the event without Ligety's furious second heat. Richard Cyprien of France finished third in the race, 0.68 seconds behind Ligety.

McNichol indicated he planned to retire, saying he would make an announcement Saturday.

"Today is Ted's day and I don't want to take away from it," he said.