Alpine skiing: Imperious Ligety wins giant slalom

America's giant slalom Olympic champion Ted Ligety recorded his 22nd World Cup victory on Saturday as he took the latest race in the event in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.

The 29-year-old -- also a two-time world champion in giant slalom -- was winning for the sixth time in the Slovenian resort as he timed 2min 30.80sec.

He became the first skier to win six times at the same resort in the same discipline in the World Cup.

"I have always liked this course, it has a lot of personality and is very demanding," said Ligety.

Austrian veteran Benjamin Raich narrowly missed out on his 37th World Cup success as he took second, 0.18sec behind -- his first podium placing in two years -- while young Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen claimed his first podium finish in the discipline as he finished third, 0.25 slower.

Ligety's victory saw him close the gap in the race for the World Cup giant slalom crystal globe to 50 points on Austrian Marcel Hirscher.

However, the American said Hircher's consistency dictated that he would fall short of taking the globe when they contest the final race of the season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, next Saturday.

"I have to win and he has to make a mistake," said Ligety.

"If it was anyone other than Marcel I would have said it is possible.

"But being as he is, he never gives out presents, he is constantly on the podium."

Hirscher's fourth place finish saw him also reduce the gap between himself and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal for the overall World Cup title -- the Austrian is the two-time defending champion -- to 41 points.

"Those are important points for me, it won't be easy but these points keep me in the race," said Hirscher.