Pinturault beats Hirscher in opening WCup race; Ligety 5th
SOELDEN, Austria (AP) Alexis Pinturault of France built on his first-run lead to win the season-opening World Cup giant slalom on Sunday.
Pinturault led defending overall champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria by 0.70 seconds. Felix Neureuther of Germany was 1.37 behind in third.
Olympic and world GS champion Ted Ligety improved from 14th position after the opening run to fifth, 1.65 seconds off the lead. The American competed in his first race since tearing the ACL in his right knee nine months ago.
Pinturault earned his seventh win in GS, matching the French record set by great Jean-Claude Killy in 1967-68.
Pinturault and Hirscher each won four GS races last season, while the Austrian captured the season title in the discipline.