They will celebrate throughout Italy tonight. Massimiliano Blardone has won his country’s most celebrated race, the Giant Slalom on Alta Badia’s Gran Risa.
First run winner Ted Ligety, Mister GS to the rest of the skiers on the World Cup, finished fourth as Blardone charged with the fastest second run.
“For me this is such a beautiful day,” Blardone said with tears in his eyes. “This is one difficult season, but with the best time of the second run, this is just beautiful.” He had not won since claiming victory on the same course in December of 2009.
Austrians Hannes Reichelt and Philipp Schoerghofer got second and third respectively.
Fourth marked the poorest GS finish for Ligety since placing 13th at Hinterstoder last season just ahead of winning the World Championship at Garmisch. He had finished on the podium in four Cup GS’s since.
“It felt okay, but it didn’t go as well as it should have,” Ligety said. “One point seven is inexcusable to lose to anybody no matter what the snow conditions are like. … It’s frustrating.”
Bode Miller finished 16th and Tim Jitloff 18th for the Americans. Tommy Ford sat 12th after the first run and appeared to have a good second run going before blowing out of the course shy of the finish.
“It was good aggressive skiing, especially by Tommy,” said US coach Sasha Rearick. Bode sat down in the middle of the pitch but did a great job of getting back onto his feet.”
A particularly long first run, set by Ante Kostelic, had racers panting in the finish. The second run, set by French coach Stephan Quittet was more than 10 seconds faster.
“It was a tough race physically,” Rearick said. “The first course was very challenging physically and the second was just the opposite, very fast. You had to work from top to bottom.”
Image by Gepa
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup Giant Slalom, Alta Badia, Italy, Dec. 18, 2011
1 Blardone, Dynastar/Lange/Look
2 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Schoerghofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
5 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
6 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
8 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
9 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
10 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
Men's World Cup Giant Slalom, Alta Badia, Italy, Dec. 18, 2011 ... It is the tenth race of the men's 45 race 2011-12 World Cup schedule. ... It is the fourth of nine scheduled giant slaloms. ... It is the 27th Cup race at Alta Badia and the 23rd GS. ... Alta Badia has hosted Cup races since Dec. 1986.
It is the sixth career World Cup win for Massimiliano Blardone, all in GS. ... It is his third win at Alta Badia having won Dec. 18, 2005 and Dec. 20, 2009, the latter his last previous win. ... It had been more than a year since hid last podium (Dec. 11, 2010 3rd Val d'Isere).
It is the 14th career Cup podium for Hannes Reichelt. ... His fourth in GS. ... It is his second at Alta Badia having placed third Dec. 21, 2008. ... It is his second podium of the season and his ninth scoring result.
It is the fourth career Cup podium for Philipp Schoerghofer, all in GS. ... a win at Hinterstoder and three third place finishes. ... two of those this season (Soelden Oct. 23).
It is the 38th time Ted Ligety has placed fourth or better in a Cup race. ... and the fourth time this season. ... He was one hundredth from third place. ... It is the seventh time Bode Miller has scored at Alta Badia. ... It is the fifth best career result for Tim Jitloff. ... and second best of the season. ... It is the third best of four career results at Alta Badia for Jean-Philippe Roy. ... His fourth score of the season all in GS.
Aksel Lund Svindal (eighth in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 416-360 over
Beat Feuz (did not qualify). ... Ligety moves into third with 359pts. ... Miller is sixth overall and the top Canadian is Jan Hudec (did not qualify) in 17th with 122pts. ... Ligety maintains the GS standings lead 330-265 over Marcel Hirscher (fifth in race). ... Schoerghofer is third with 182pts. ... Roy is top Canadian in 18th place tie with Miller at 46pts. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup standings 1672-1154 over Switzerland with the US third at 859. ... Canada is seventh with 367pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|8||6||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:28.62||1:19.28||2:47.90||7.37|
|26||26||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:30.49||1:20.86||2:51.35||25.40|
|Did not qualify 1st run|
|58||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|57||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA|
|28||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR|
|20||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|