Updated: Sunday, 02 February 2014 22:37 | By Agence France-Presse

America's Ligety wins giant slalom in St Moritz

America's two-time giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety won the final World Cup race in the discipline before the Winter Olympics on Sunday in the Swiss resort of St Moritz.

America's Ligety wins giant slalom in St Moritz

Ted Ligety of the US stands behind the US flag during the podium ceremony of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup Men's Super Combined on January 17, 2014 in Wengen - by Fabrice Coffrini

The 29-year-old -- four time World Cup giant slalom series champion -- timed 2min 38.75sec to beat Austrian ace Marcel Hirscher with Frenchman Alexis Pinturault third.

Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal failed to finish but maintained his lead atop the overall World Cup standings although Hirscher's runner-up spot saw him narrow the gap.

Ligety, who has yet to win the giant slalom Olympic crown though he won the combined Olympic gold in 2006, built an impressive lead after the first run of more than a second over both Hirscher and Pinturault, who had won the men's super combined last Sunday.

Ligety's second run went without any major scares to see him to his 21st World Cup victory, all bar one -- the super combined in Wengen in January -- in the giant slalom.

Ligety's return to form -- he failed to finish in both Adelboden and Val d'Isere in January's races  -- reinforces his status as favourite for the Olympic race which is programmed for February 19.

The Games get underway in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi next Friday and run till February 23.

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