Ligety pockets 60k for Rock Fest win
Ted Ligety pocketed the 60,000 Euro winner-take-all purse at the V Pay Alpine Rockfest 2011 and got sprayed with champagne by Bode Miller for his effort while Italy's Gionvanni Borsotti could only lick his wounds in second place by a scant two hundredths of a second.
“Sorry to Giovanni Borsotti, good skiing,” Ligety tweeted.
The non-World Cup event's defending champion Cyprien Richard was third, Ondrej Bank and young Austrian Marcel Mathis who had to work his way through qualifying, made up the rest of the top five.
Racers called the track “highly spectacular." It was a fast set, at about 36 seconds. With just 25 gates and a jump over a new Audi, it became evident early in qualifying the racing was going to match the track.
Both Mathis and young Italian Luca DeAliprandini caught the attention of Miller who said “I have seen some interesting things starting with DeAlprandini; did not know him, but he skied great, as did Mathis. Pay attention to these two.”
Miller and fellow American Tommy Ford both picked Mathis to win before the finals began, he was skiing that well.
The final five kicked off with Richard putting down a solid run, but he left room with a time that would have been third in the previous heat.
Mathis was next up, got a touch low early on course and did not make it up. With a big smile, he said “I tried to, but I didn't make it.. Hopefully soon I will.” He was ready to celebrate his 20th birthday on Christmas Eve.
Bank, coming back from injury, charged but was behind by a tenth. “It was nice skiing today," he said. "I made some mistakes.”
Borsotti got a good start and definitely attacked the whole way down the gully and over the car, but still, there was room. His run was only the third or fourth fastest of the day.
Ligety, wearing a HEAD race suit, had a slight bobble right out of the start, then settled in and raced like the best GS skier in the world for the slenderest of margins.
"On scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you?," he was asked in the finish. “Twelve" he responded still dodging Miller and the spray of champagne.
"I'm pretty pumped," said Ligety. "I stumbled a little out of the start and tried not to look at the clock I was that nervous."
Borsotti said he was a "10" worth of happy.
"If only Ted Ligety can beat me. ... " and he let the sentence hang.
Images by Brian Pinelli