GS rivals try to match Ligety's setup

ERIC WILLEMSEN (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

SOELDEN, Austria (AP) -- Ted Ligety's giant slalom rivals hope they've finally solved the puzzle.

Following last year's rule change for GS skis, the American stunned his competitors as he started to win races by margins the sport hadn't seen for decades. Ligety won six of eight World Cup races and successfully defended his world title in the discipline.

The season-opening race Sunday will provide a hint as to whether other racers are catching up, with Ligety eyeing his third straight victory on the Rettenbach glacier.

A factor in Ligety's dominance has been a custom-made aluminum binding plate on his skis that perfectly suits his racing style.

Ligety says ''with how I skied in GS, everyone switched to a similar plate. ... I had success on it, so the other guys are trying it.''