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Blardone gets tough GS win, Hirscher 2nd, Ligety 9th


BlardoneMassimiliano Blardone earned every bit of the World Cup GS win at Crans Montana, Switzerland Sunday (Feb. 26). A long, deteriorating track coupled with a complicated course set provided plenty of drama and few (if any) smooth, clean runs. Blardone made fewer mistakes, charged harder, and made a critical transition through a blind gate that caused many to falter smoothly to edge out first run leader Marcel Hirscher for his second win of the season.

“It is very, very difficult snow,” he said in the finish after having climbed to the top of the padded finish area fencing to celebrate with well-wishers. “I am very happy.”

Blardone had been second to Hirscher after the first run by just two hundreds while Aksel Lund Svindal – a second run crash victim – was a half second out in third. With just the 18th and 20th fastest second runs that margin proved vital. Hannes Reichelt, tenth after the first run, finished up third on the day with a strong second run. Hirscher was a close second, .16 behind the Italian.

Ted Ligety, in a battle with Hirscher to retain the GS title, finished ninth and now faces the daunting challenge of making up 132pts against Hirscher in the two remaining GS races. He could have trouble holding on to second as Blardone is 55pts behind and riding a streak of four straight podium finishes.

There were three Americans in the points with Tommy Ford and Tim Jitloff finishing 19th and 22nd respectively. Bode Miller did not start.

“Both Tommy and Ted made a big tactical mistake at the bottom,” said coach Sasha Rearick. The coach said Ligety would not go to Kvitfjell, Norway where a downhill and two super G’s are slated in favor of rest and technical training. “He’s not skiing with the tremendous cleanliness and crispness that we know he can ski with. Over the rolls here he just wasn’t skiing with a lot of confidence.”

The coach said both Ford and Jitloff took too aggressive a line which cost them. Both could still qualify for World Cup finals in GS (top 25) with strong results at Kranjska Gora
March 10. Jitloff is currently ranked 24th and Ford 28th.

Blardone said he has picked up motivation where he hadn’t really expected it. “My family will be expanding in a few months (his girlfriend is due in April) and I have a bigger responsibility than the one for myself. … I need to finish my house and have everything ready.”

Hirscher said he was glad to have gotten second place points. “This was a difficult race and I think being able to still win some important points is what matters.”

Gepa photo

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Men’s World Cup giant slalom, Crans Montana, Switzerland, Feb 26, 2012
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Blardone, Dynastar/Lange/Look
2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Grange, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
5 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
6 Schoerghofer, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Mathis, Head/Head/Head
8 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
9 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
10 Sandell, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Men’s World Cup giant slalom, Crans Montana, Switzerland, Feb. 26, 2012. … It is the 35th race of the men’s 44 race 2012 World Cup schedule. … The seventh of nine scheduled GS’s. … It is the 34th Cup race hosted at least in part by Crans Montana. … the sixth GS.

It is the seventh career World Cup win for Massimiliano Blardone. … all in GS. … and his second win of the season, the previous coming at Alta Badia Dec. 18. … He has been on every GS podium since that date.

It is the 24th career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher. … his ninth in GS. … It is his 11th podium of the season in 15 completed races and fifth in GS for the season.

It is the 17th career World Cup podium result for Hannes Reichelt. … his fifth in GS. … It is his fifth podium of the season and first not in downhill.

North Americans: It is the 81st career World Cup top 10 for Ted Ligety. … his 38th in GS. … It is his 12th top 10 of the season in 18 completed races. … It is the fifth best career World Cup finish for Tommy Ford and third best in GS. … It is his third best finish of the season. … It is the ninth best Cup career result for Tim Jitloff. … seventh best in GS. … It is his fifth score of the season.

Standings: Hirscher extends his lead of the World Cup overall standings to 1135-1043 over Ivica Kostelic (did not race). … Beat Feuz (did not qualify for 2nd run) is third with 1040. … Ligety is eighth overall with 674pts and Bode Miller (did not race) is tenth at 612pts. … Jan Hudec is top Canadian overall in 16th with 459pts. … Hirscher leads the GS standings 545-413 over Ligety with two races remaining. … Blardone is third with 358pts. … Jean-Philippe Roy is top Canadian in GS rankings in 29th with 55pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 6042-3621 over Switzerland. … Italy is third with 3058. … The US is fifth with 1851 and Canada seventh with 1418pts.

Crans-Montana (SUI)

FIS World Cup
Men’s Giant Slalom

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  4  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano  1979  ITA   1:15.27  1:18.50  2:33.77  0.00
 2  1  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel  1989  AUT   1:15.25  1:18.68  2:33.93  0.91
 3  12  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT   1:16.73  1:17.86  2:34.59  4.64
 4  30  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste  1984  FRA   1:17.68  1:17.05  2:34.73  5.43
 5  26  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI   1:17.14  1:17.62  2:34.76  5.60
 6  5  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp  1983  AUT   1:16.69  1:18.11  2:34.80  5.83
 7  23  53985 MATHIS Marcel  1991  AUT   1:17.52  1:17.34  2:34.86  6.17
 8  13  202462 DOPFER Fritz  1987  GER   1:16.92  1:18.05  2:34.97  6.79
 9  3  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:16.47  1:18.59  2:35.06  7.30
 10  15  180534 SANDELL Marcus  1987  FIN   1:17.93  1:17.19  2:35.12  7.64
 11  10  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis  1991  FRA   1:16.68  1:18.47  2:35.15  7.81
 12  25  420148 KARLSEN Truls Ove  1975  NOR   1:17.58  1:17.60  2:35.18  7.98
 13  6  191423 RICHARD Cyprien  1979  FRA   1:16.19  1:19.02  2:35.21  8.15
 14  18  192506 MISSILLIER Steve  1984  FRA   1:17.51  1:17.77  2:35.28  8.54
 15  16  510030 CUCHE Didier  1974  SUI   1:16.52  1:18.77  2:35.29  8.60
 16  29  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI   1:18.22  1:17.09  2:35.31  8.71
 17  11  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:16.46  1:18.86  2:35.32  8.77
 18  21  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA   1:17.95  1:17.57  2:35.52  9.90
 19  28  531799 FORD Tommy  1989  USA   1:17.76  1:17.78  2:35.54  10.01
 20  20  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni  1990  ITA   1:17.44  1:18.17  2:35.61  10.41
 21  7  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:17.43  1:18.38  2:35.81  11.54
 22  24  534959 JITLOFF Tim  1985  USA   1:18.18  1:17.84  2:36.02  12.73
 23  19  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   1:17.80  1:18.28  2:36.08  13.07
 23  9  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:16.75  1:19.33  2:36.08  13.07
 25  8  292120 SIMONCELLI Davide  1979  ITA   1:16.36  1:19.73  2:36.09  13.13
 26  14  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI   1:17.49  1:18.90  2:36.39  14.82
 27  37  561032 JAZBEC Janez  1984  SLO   1:17.93  1:19.18  2:37.11  18.90
 28  17  501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE   1:17.96  1:22.27  2:40.23  36.55
 29  39  202437 LUITZ Stefan  1992  GER   1:18.06  1:22.37  2:40.43  37.68
Disqualified 1st run
   52  103676 BROWN Philip  1991  CAN         
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   67  660021 DANILOCHKIN Yuri  1991  BLR         
   65  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO         
   64  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier  1980  ARG         
   60  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas  1989  USA         
   59  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA         
   58  990081 CASSE Mattia  1990  ITA         
   57  511634 SPESCHA Christian  1989  SUI         
   56  100558 COOK Dustin  1989  CAN         
   54  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA         
   51  421946 KRISTIANSEN Emil Bjoertomt  1990  NOR         
   48  51159 NOESIG Christoph  1985  AUT         
   47  700830 ZAMPA Adam  1990  SVK         
   42  481148 MAYTAKOV Sergei  1990  RUS         
   41  290693 PLONER Alexander  1978  ITA         
   40  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix  1984  GER         
   38  192653 FREY Thomas  1984  FRA         
   35  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu  1992  FRA         
   33  192746 THEAUX Adrien  1984  FRA         
   31  511383 FEUZ Beat  1987  SUI         
Did not finish 2nd run
   2  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR         
Did not finish 1st run
   66  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew  1986  USA         
   63  910004 DEFLORIAN Mirko  1980  MDA         
   62  53902 MAYER Matthias  1990  AUT         
   61  180570 ROMAR Andreas  1989  FIN         
   55  51401 GRAF Bernhard  1988  AUT         
   53  191778 PICHOT Sebastien  1981  FRA         
   50  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino  1992  SUI         
   49  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE         
   46  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca  1990  ITA         
   45  511638 TUMLER Thomas  1989  SUI         
   44  421859 NILSEN Markus  1989  NOR         
   43  292967 EISATH Florian  1984  ITA         
   36  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian  1987  NOR         
   34  510993 ALBRECHT Daniel  1983  SUI         
   32  293006 INNERHOFER Christof  1984  ITA         
   27  101895 ROY Jean-Philippe  1979  CAN         
   22  501324 OLSSON Matts  1988  SWE       

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