Herscher takes giant slalom win

Two-time defending World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher won Sunday's giant slalom in Alta Badia as Ted Ligety had to settle for third.

Hirscher clocked the fastest time on both runs of the challenging course, and his combined time of 2 minutes 37.45 seconds saw him beat France's Alex Pinturault by 0.35 seconds with Ligety, winner by a massive margin here last year, was third, .041 seconds back.

Hirscher said it was significant to have beaten an in-form Ligety on a course where he was favoured.

"It was really, really important for me to win when Ted is competitive. I have done everything I possibly could to get closer to Ted and its tough to get faster ad faster but it was worth it," the Austrian said on the FIS website.

Hirscher is second in the World Cup standings behind Aksel Lund Svindal, who leads by 95 points.

In the women's event, Liechenstein's Tina Wierather strengthened her position at the top of the overall World Cup standings with a first career giant slalom victory in Val D'Isere.

Wierather, who also won a super-G race in St. Moritz last week, was fastest on the first run and did enough on the second to ensure victory, her combined time of 2 minutes 24.10 seconds .75 seconds better than Lara Gut of Switzerland, and 0.95 seconds better than Sweden's Maria Pietilae-Holmner.

Wierather now has 595 points in the World Cup standings, 27 better than Gut who moved up to second place ahead of Maria Hoefl-Riesch.