Hirscher edges Ligety for Birds of Prey GS win
Ted Ligety put it on the line. Marcel Hirscher was still better.
It was a classic GS contest on a fabulous course. The cleanest skier won as Hirscher sliced down the final pitch to claim a .16 margin of victory and gave the Austrian men their first win of the season.
"In Austria Ted is (considered) unbreakable," said Hirscher, "so it's a pretty big success for me to beat him today. But we'll see, I think Teddy will be back on Tuesday."
Posting a huge result for the German squad was Fritz Dopfer with the first GS podium for a German male since Tobias Barnerssoi placed third at Kranjska Gora, when Dopfer was seven years old.
On a weekend when the U.S. alpine team had already collected four wins, the second place from Ligety left an unreasonable expectation vibrating in the clear air of the Colorado mountains, but put in perspective, the US had managed 155 GS podiums in somewhere near 2400 chances. Second place just isn't that bad.
A man with some perspective is head coach Sasha Rearick. “Ted skied a fantastic first run and second run, too. I mean there were a couple little mistakes but Hirscher. ... hats off to Hirscher because the skiing he did today especially on the second run at the bottom here was amazing skiing, aggressive and clean on his skis. That was great competition out here today.”
Ligety said an error near the bottom of the second run was what cost him his tenth win. "I know exactly where I lost it, when I had a little bobble on the bottom...being second place is obviously good but I was really wanting to win more than anything."
The Americans could also rejoice in the showing of Tommy Ford, finishing 22nd despite a huge error on his first run.
"I came in a little direct in that turn, and didn’t quite move over my skis and I was definitely fatigued there and compressed. I just gotta be over the skis more and keep moving the whole way." He vowed not to stop taking risks.
Though Ford finished nearly three seconds out, fourth place finisher Kjetil Jansrud was a second off the incredible skiing of both Hirscher and Ligety.
With another GS added to the Beaver Creek schedule next Tuesday, Rearick said he was looking forward to the opportunity. "We’re excited to have another GS here, especially with Tommy Ford skiing so great in the second run. ... He’s got some wicked speed and if we can get him skiing with that kind of confidence on Tuesday, it’s going to be fun."
Ligety said he had adjusted his ski set-up between runs. "I adjusted my setup so it was a little better for the second run just because the snow's so aggressive it's hard to really anticipate what your skis are going to do they can hook up so quickly on this snow, you have to kinda just be on top of your stuff."
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, USA, Dec. 4, 2011
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
3 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
4 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
5 Sandell, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Richard, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Schoerghofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Janka, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
9 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
Men's World Cup Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, USA, Dec. 4, 2011. ... It is the sixth race of the men's 45 race 2011-12 World Cup schedule. ... the second of nine scheduled giant slaloms. ... It is the 44th World Cup hosted by Beaver Creek. ... the ninth GS. ...It is the third of three originally scheduled races at Beaver Creek this season and the third of six now scheduled and the first of two GS's scheduled.
It is the fifth career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. ... his third in GS. ... his first in almost a full year. ... It is his second podium at Beaver Creek having placed third in this same race last season.
It is the 27th career World Cup podium placing for Ted Ligety. ... his 20th in GS. ... It is his fifth Cup podium result at Beaver Creek - fourth in GS - including last season's GS win.
It is the first career World Cup podium result for Fritz Dopfer in 10 scoring results... His previous best finish had been 12th at Kranjska Gora in GS March 5, 2011. ... It is the first GS podium for a German male since Tobias Barnerssoi was third at Kranjska Gora Jan. 8, 1994.
It is the second GS score of the season for Jean-Philippe Roy and one placing better than his Soelden finish in October. ... It is the seventh career scoring result for Tommy Ford and third of the season.
Aksel Lund Svindal (9th in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 294-260 over Didier Cuche (12th in race). ... Beat Feuz (16th in race) sits third with 246pts. ... Bode Miller (did not qualify for a second run) is the top American in fourth with 197pts and Ted Ligety is fifth with 189pts. ... Jan Hudec (did not race) is the top Canadian in 15th with 96pts. ... Ligety leads the GS standings 180-140 over Hirscher. ... Alexis Pinturault (9th in race) is third at 109. ... Roy is the top Canadian in 21st with 19pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup 986-897 over Switzerland. ... France is third with 622pts. ... The US is tied for fourth with Norway with 470pts and Canada is sixth with 272pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|9||6||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:19.72||1:20.32||2:40.04||8.73|
|13||27||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:18.90||1:21.27||2:40.17||9.44|
|20||28||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR||1:20.05||1:20.98||2:41.03||14.17|
|Did not start 1st run|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|54||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|