Ted Ligety was all smiles on Saturday after the American was crowned world cup champion in the Giant slalom for the second year in a row and for the fifth time in seven seasons.
Heading into the final giant slalom race of the campaign at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide Switzerland, Ligety trailed leader Marcel Hirscher by 50 points in the discipline standings.
However the 29-year-old World and Olympic champion won the finale in thrilling fashion, setting a combined winning time of two minutes and 15.63 seconds.
Frenchman Alexis Pinturault, who won the last super-G race of the season on Thursday, crossed over in second place a mere three hundredths of a second off Ligety’s pace.
Felix Neureuther of Germany rounded off the podium in third place.
Austria’s Marcel Hirscher was fourth to end the giant slalom season on the same number of points as Ligety, but he lost out after winning two races to Ligety’s five.
It was a far from disappointing day for Hirscher, though, as with that result he secured the overall World Cup crystal globe handing Austria a double triumph after compatriot Anna Fenninger won the women’s title.
With his latest season-long victory Hirscher becomes the first man in 30 years to win the overall crown three years in a row.
With only the slalom remaining at the season-ending finals, Hirscher leads Sweden’s Aksel Lund Svindal by 31 points.
Svindal crashed out of the first leg of the giant slalom, blowing his final chance to score points in the battle for the overall title as he does not compete in the slalom – Hirscher’s speciality.