Hirscher leads two place Austrian sweep, Ligety fourth


Marcel Hirscher couldn’t tell when he finished  a nasty race at Adelboden Saturday (Jan. 7), if he had won or not. He had, in a race where the top four skiers finished with .14 of a second, topping the remarkable comeback showing of Benjamin Raich. Italian Massimiliano Blardone posted third and Ted Ligety fourth, clinging to his lead of the GS standings over Hirscher by 15points.

The course at Adelboden provided even more than its usual challenges in 2012. Course workers had been shipped in from Wengen to help with preparation, but a storm anticipated overnight arrived early, and wetter, than expected. The light went flat and sleet coated the goggles making visibility difficult and the rolls of the Chuenisbaergli slope treacherous. The first run took out half the field and the second added three more.

“The top was good snow, the middle was kind of winter snow that held up for the most part,” said US coach Sasha Rearick. “From the slalom down it was all injected, down that steep pitch, and at the bottom you had a kind of Spring snow. You had to be pretty adaptable.”

Hirscher called the race “the toughest giant slalom on my career,” and said being solid down the last pitch was what won the race for him.

As the weather turned to rain to sleet to snow and back again, the second run started with Beat Feuz nearly running into a course worker applying dye to the course. He got a rerun. Among the most incredible racing of the day came from Frenchman Alexis Pinturault. Just 17th after the first run he turned a series of linked recoveries into a lead that held through nine skiers. But as good as his run was, Raich still recorded the fastest second leg, a sign he has now fully recovered from his first major injury, sustained near the end of last season at the World Championships.

Raich – sixth after the first run – was as smooth as he was fast, compact with no wasted movement. It was boring to watch for any but a technician. The next challenger, Cyprien Richard, put up a much more exciting run as the rain started to turn to snow, but could not touch Raich’s time. Blardone, fueled by his GS win at Alta Badia before Christmas skied beautifully missing the lead by .02.

Ligety, next to last to start the second heat skied cleanly top to bottom but his first run margin slowly disintegrated and he dipped behind both Raich and Blardone with Hirscher still in the start house.

Hirscher has been on fire all season. He lost ground to Raich, but not all of it to collect his fourth win and sixth podium of the season. “I caught a few turns not so good,” Hirscher told Austrian reporters. “I felt rather bad. My heart slipped.” After he had been told he had in fact won, he felt much better.

“Honestly, at the moment everything is working very, very well. I have great joy in skiing,” Hirscher said.
 
Raich said he knew he would get back into form, but admitted he was a bit surprised how quickly he had recovered from knee surgery. “I’ve always believed,” he said. “That it has gone so fast is all the more beautiful.”

Hirscher had hurt his hand in the first run when his pole caught on a gate and was ripped away, none the less he extended his lead of the World Cup overall standings to 185pts over Aksel Lund Svindal who was a second run DNF.

US coach Sasha Rearick said Ligety had “shook by a bump” that had him heading the wrong direction. Without that mishap, the coach said, “He skied well enough to win.”

Adelboden podium photo by Gepa

The Scoop
by Hank McKee

Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 7, 2012
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
2 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Blardone, Dynastar/Lange/Look
4 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
5 Richard, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
8 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Missillier, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 7, 2012. … It is the 15th race of the men’s 45 race 2012 World Cup schedule with one cancellation. … It is the fifth of nine scheduled GS’s for the men with no more on the slate until Feb. 18 at Bansko, Bulgaria. … It is the 50th Cup race hosted by Adelboden and 41st GS, all of them men’s races. … The site has hosted men’s World Cup GS races since the inception of the circuit. … Last season’s race was a tie between Cyprien Richard and Aksel Lund Svindal.

It is the seventh career World Cup win for Marcel Hirscher. … his fourth in GS. … It is his fourth win of the season together with two additional podium placings. … He has not completed a Cup race this season in worse than sixth place. … He owns all of the Austrian men’s victories this season. … It is his third straight podium at Adelboden going back to both of last season’s races.

It is the 88th career World Cup podium result for Benjamin Raich. … His 33rd in GS. … It is his first podium (and second top 10) this season. … It is his ninth career podium at Adelboden.

It is the 22nd career World Cup podium for Massimiliano Blardone. … all in GS. … It is his second podium of the season, the other the win at Alta Badia. … It is his fifth podium at Adelboden, going back to 2005.

It is the 39th time Ted Ligety has finished in the top four of a World Cup race. … the fifth time this season. … It is his second best result at Adelboden but best in GS. … Tim Jitloff matches his sixth best career Cup result. … It is his third score of the season, all in GS.

Hirscher strengthens his lead of the World Cup overall standings to 625-456 over Aksel Lund Svindal (DNF 2nd). … Ligety holds third with 453pts. … Bode Miller (DNF 1st) is sixth with 343pts. … Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 27th with 140pts. … Ligety holds the lead of the GS standings 380-365 for Hirscher. … Alexis Pinturault (seventh in race) is third with 195pts. … Jean-Philippe Roy (DNF 1st) is top Canadian in 21st with 46pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup standings 2446-1483 over Switzerland. … France is third with 1307pts. … The US is fifth with 1035 and Canada ninth with 470pts.

Place   Adelboden (SUI)   Discipline   Giant Slalom
Date   07.01.2012   Category   FIS World Cup
Race codex   1410   Gender   M
Valid for FIS Points   YES   TD Name   Huber Michael (AUT)
       
  

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  5  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel  1989  AUT   1:21.67  1:20.83  2:42.50  0.00
 2  18  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:22.78  1:19.80  2:42.58  0.43
 3  11  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano  1979  ITA   1:22.00  1:20.60  2:42.60  0.54
 4  4  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:21.74  1:20.90  2:42.64  0.75
 5  2  191423 RICHARD Cyprien  1979  FRA   1:22.60  1:20.89  2:43.49  5.30
 6  16  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:23.11  1:20.67  2:43.78  6.85
 7  14  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis  1991  FRA   1:23.70  1:20.16  2:43.86  7.28
 8  7  191750 FANARA Thomas  1981  FRA   1:23.56  1:21.00  2:44.56  11.03
 9  20  192506 MISSILLIER Steve  1984  FRA   1:22.38  1:22.27  2:44.65  11.51
 10  13  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:23.14  1:21.53  2:44.67  11.62
 11  27  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni  1990  ITA   1:23.60  1:21.19  2:44.79  12.26
 12  15  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI   1:23.60  1:21.32  2:44.92  12.96
 13  12  292120 SIMONCELLI Davide  1979  ITA   1:23.53  1:21.83  2:45.36  15.31
 14  55  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA   1:24.85  1:20.59  2:45.44  15.74
 15  1  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:23.28  1:22.27  2:45.55  16.33
 16  17  510030 CUCHE Didier  1974  SUI   1:23.12  1:22.45  2:45.57  16.44
 17  8  180534 SANDELL Marcus  1987  FIN   1:24.00  1:21.59  2:45.59  16.54
 18  21  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA   1:24.50  1:21.13  2:45.63  16.76
 19  23  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   1:24.51  1:21.19  2:45.70  17.13
 20  29  534959 JITLOFF Tim  1985  USA   1:25.37  1:20.62  2:45.99  18.68
 21  44  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE   1:25.53  1:20.53  2:46.06  19.06
 22  52  990081 CASSE Mattia  1990  ITA   1:25.52  1:20.60  2:46.12  19.38
 23  46  292056 GUFLER Michael  1979  ITA   1:24.67  1:21.78  2:46.45  21.15
 24  41  292967 EISATH Florian  1984  ITA   1:24.50  1:21.96  2:46.46  21.20
 25  43  53985 MATHIS Marcel  1991  AUT   1:25.65  1:21.21  2:46.86  23.34
 26  32  511383 FEUZ Beat  1987  SUI   1:25.53  1:21.50  2:47.03  24.25
 27  22  501324 OLSSON Matts  1988  SWE   1:23.19  1:25.66  2:48.85  34.00
Disqualified 1st run
   9  202462 DOPFER Fritz  1987  GER         
Did not qualify 1st run
   64  910004 DEFLORIAN Mirko  1980  MDA         
   62  511634 SPESCHA Christian  1989  SUI         
   57  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino  1992  SUI         
   56  100558 COOK Dustin  1989  CAN         
   48  191778 PICHOT Sebastien  1981  FRA         
   37  192653 FREY Thomas  1984  FRA         
   26  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian  1987  NOR         
Did not finish 2nd run
   25  150398 BANK Ondrej  1980  CZE         
   10  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT         
   6  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR         
Did not finish 1st run
   66  380290 SAMSAL Dalibor  1985  CRO         
   65  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier  1980  ARG         
   63  700830 ZAMPA Adam  1990  SVK         
   61  180570 ROMAR Andreas  1989  FIN         
   60  193986 PLACE Francois  1989  FRA         
   59  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas  1989  USA         
   58  561032 JAZBEC Janez  1984  SLO         
   54  294890 NANI Roberto  1988  ITA         
   53  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca  1990  ITA         
   51  481006 ZUEV Stepan  1988  RUS         
   50  103676 BROWN Philip  1991  CAN         
   49  51401 GRAF Bernhard  1988  AUT         
   47  421946 KRISTIANSEN Emil Bjoertomt  1990  NOR         
   45  202437 LUITZ Stefan  1992  GER         
   42  421859 NILSEN Markus  1989  NOR         
   40  420148 KARLSEN Truls Ove  1975  NOR         
   39  930107 GREGORAK Will  1990  USA         
   38  290693 PLONER Alexander  1978  ITA         
   36  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste  1984  FRA         
   35  510993 ALBRECHT Daniel  1983  SUI         
   34  531799 FORD Tommy  1989  USA         
   33  501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE         
   31  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI         
   30  511352 VILETTA Sandro  1986  SUI         
   28  101895 ROY Jean-Philippe  1979  CAN         
   24  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI         
   19  532431 MILLER Bode  1977  USA         
   3  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp  1983  AUT       

Deville, Hirscher knotted in lead after Adelboden first runVonn slip helps Goergl to first downhill win, Mancuso second

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