Time for the Ligety-Hirscher-Pinturault show

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm •  Published: February 18, 2014
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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Ted Ligety vs. Marcel Hirscher vs. Alexis Pinturault.

The men's giant slalom on Wednesday might be the most anticipated Alpine race at the Sochi Olympics.

Three skiers who combined to win 20 of 23 World Cup giant slaloms over three seasons, and filled the podium together seven times.

Here are five things to know about a race featuring 109 skiers from 62 nations:

MR. GIANT SLALOM: American Ligety, the world champion and World Cup season-long title holder, is often introduced by European race announcers as "Mr. Giant Slalom."

"He's the favorite in GS and everyone in the world knows that," said Forest Carey, Ligety's technical coach.

Ligety was unhappy with his slalom in super-combined, then started fast in super-G before an error ended his medal chance.

"I'm just going to push hard in the race," said Ligety, who needs Olympic gold to complete his GS set.

MR. ANGRY: France's Pinturault had several days to calm down after failing to finish the super-combined slalom course.

"He was angry," France coach Patrice Morisod said. "I think (in) his last 50 runs in slalom he didn't make such a mistake."

Still, the misstep perhaps set up Pinturault for his main events, with Saturday's night slalom to come.

"It's his first Olympics, he's only 22," Morisod said.

MR. CONSISTENT: Hirscher is probably the world's best slalom skier, and his consistency in giant slalom is also impressive.

He has top-three finishes in 19 of the past 20 GS races, including silver behind Ligety at the 2013 worlds.

Hirscher was last of the trio to arrive in Sochi, noting reports of earlier Olympic races for Ligety and Pinturault.

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