Innerhofer edges Neureuther for Cup win, Ligety fourth


InnerhoferPut a few medals in a guys pocket and nothing phases him. Christof Innerhofer faced an unusual slalom first combined on a track the men had never seen before at Bansko, Bulgaria today (Feb. 26). Instead of anticipated fog (the reason for going slalom first) they got sugary snow and none of it seemed to matter to the Italian triple medal winner.

When you’re hot, you’re hot. Innerhofer seemed oblivious to the conditions or surface and eked out a .01 of a second margin over Felix Neureuther, no doubt seething a bit from the World Championship on his home hill where he couldn’t get it going. Frenchman Thomas Mermillod Blondin was third and Ted Ligety fourth matching his career best Cup result in the discipline from 2006 – the same year he won the gold medal in combined at the Olympics.

“When you are on a roll, keep rolling,” said Innerhofer. He could only explain his new found success by saying he was in the same frame of mind as he was at Garmisch for the World Championships.”I don’t know how long this will go on, but I’m thrilled.”

Ligety said he was pleased with his super G leg, but felt he could have done more with the slalom course, set by U.S. coach Mike Kenney. “I didn’t feel like I had the greatest slalom in the world, but by super G run was pretty good. It was a pretty GS friendly super G hill, so that worked out well for me.”

A stunningly strong result was put up by Tim Jitloff in eighth. It is just his second combined result, just his second top 10 finish and his best in two years.
“Jitloff did a hell of a job in the first run,” said U.S. coach Sasha Rearick, “skied clean and moved with the terrain well. It was a rough course. It held up but was rough with changing snow conditions.”

The coach said he was also pleased with the effort of Colby Granstrom, the 31st finisher. He said he was particularly good from the midsection down. “I’m stoked to see him come out and execute that level of skiing in a World Cup.”

Granstrom was 15th in the slalom leg, then experienced back spasms. He gutted out the super G leg and nearly scored despite what he called “a 360″ on the super G course.

Ivica Kostelic – the winner of the other three combineds this season and already the title winner, was fifth. He now appears to have clear sailing to the overall title as his three top competitors didn’t play. Didier Cuche had thumb surgery last week and Silvan Zurbriggen was also a no-show. There was no reported injury but he did fail to finish the last race at World Championships, the slalom. Askel Lund Svindal also elected not to travel to Bansko.

Kostelic now owns a 569pt lead over Cuche and 581pt lead over Svindal and a 591 advantage over Zurbriggen with a maximum of 10 races remaining.

Gepa image

The SCOOP
By Hank McKee

Men’s World Cup combined, Bansko, Bulgaria, Feb. 26, 2011
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
2 Neureuther, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Mermillod Blondin, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
5 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Bank, Elan/Nordica/Elan
7 Sieber, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Jitloff, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
10 Baumann, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

Men’s World Cup combined, Bansko, Bulgaria, Feb. 26, 2011
. … It is a super G/slalom combined. … It is the 29th race of the men’s 39 race 2011 World Cup schedule with one cancellation. … It is the fourth and final combined on the schedule. … It is the first of two at Bansko with a slalom scheduled tomorrow. … It is the fourth Cup race to be held at Bansko and the first for men, the women holding three races in 2009.

It is the second career World Cup win for Christof Innerhofer, the other in DH at Bormio Dec. 28, 2008. … It is his second podium result in World Cup combined having placed third at Sestriere Feb. 22, 2009. … It is his second win of the season having claimed gold in the World Championship super G. … It is his fifth podium of the season with three championship medals and a third in DH at Bormio Dec. 29.

It is the ninth career World Cup podium for Felix Neureuther, the first not in slalom. … His next best combined result is 22nd from Beaver Creek Dec. 4, 2009. … It is his first podium finish of the season, a fourth in the Munich parallel the next best result.

It is the first career World Cup podium result for Thomas Mermillod Blondin and his first top 10 finish. … His best previous combined result was 14th at Beaver Creek Dec. 4, 2009. … His best previous finish this season – of four scoring finishes – was 17th in combined at Chamonix Jan. 30.

It is the 33rd time Ted Ligety has placed fourth or better in a World Cup race. … and matches his career best Cup combined result from Reiteralm Dec. 10, 2006. … It is his best finish this season that was not a victory. … It is the second best career Cup result for Tim Jitloff, bested only by a fifth in GS at Sestriere Feb. 21, 2009. … It is his only top 10 finish of the season the next best a 14th in combined at World Championships.

Ivica Kostelic (5th in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 1294-725 over Didier Cuche (did not race). … Aksel Lund Svindal is third with 713. … Ligety in the top American overall in ninth place with 514pts. … Erik Guay the top Canadian in 35th with 157pts. … The combined title belongs to Kostelic 345-219 over Innerhofer. … Kjetil Jansrud is third at 145pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup standings 4412-3072 over Switzerland. … Italy is third at 2404. … The USA ranks seventh with 1243pts and Canada ninth with 888pts.

Place   Bansko
(BUL)
  Discipline   Super Combined
Date   26.02.2011   Category   FIS World Cup
Race codex   0226   Gender   M
Valid for FIS Points   YES   TD Name   Petit Dominique (FRA)
       
  
Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  5  293006 INNERHOFER Christof  1984  ITA   1:01.12  1:22.75  2:23.87  0.00
 2  27  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix  1984  GER   59.92  1:23.96  2:23.88  0.08
 3  17  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA   1:01.68  1:22.52  2:24.20  2.59
 4  11  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:00.99  1:23.38  2:24.37  3.93
 5  6  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:00.25  1:24.17  2:24.42  4.32
 6  2  150398 BANK Ondrej  1980  CZE   1:00.69  1:23.78  2:24.47  4.71
 7  14  53853 SIEBER Bjoern  1989  AUT   1:02.36  1:22.16  2:24.52  5.11
 8  18  534959 JITLOFF Tim  1985  USA   1:00.93  1:23.85  2:24.78  7.15
 9  21  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   1:00.01  1:24.86  2:24.87  7.85
 10  3  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:01.80  1:23.14  2:24.94  8.40
 11  31  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis  1991  FRA   1:01.82  1:23.37  2:25.19  10.37
 12  35  511908 SCHMIDIGER Reto  1992  SUI   1:01.76  1:23.52  2:25.28  11.07
 13  8  421400 MYHRE Lars Elton  1984  NOR   1:01.56  1:23.75  2:25.31  11.31
 14  20  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp  1983  AUT   1:02.26  1:23.07  2:25.33  11.47
 15  4  380292 ZRNCIC-DIM Natko  1986  CRO   1:00.47  1:25.47  2:25.94  16.26
 16  37  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI   1:02.51  1:23.57  2:26.08  17.36
 17  29  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu  1992  FRA   1:02.58  1:23.52  2:26.10  17.52
 18  7  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:02.35  1:23.95  2:26.30  19.09
 19  43  561117 KUERNER Miha  1987  SLO   1:01.99  1:24.57  2:26.56  21.13
 20  28  51395 DIGRUBER Marc  1988  AUT   1:01.46  1:25.23  2:26.69  22.15
 21  19  90131 GEORGIEV Georgi  1987  BUL   1:01.72  1:25.05  2:26.77  22.78
 22  40  501324 OLSSON Matts  1988  SWE   1:02.72  1:24.76  2:27.48  28.35
 23  36  193347 TISSOT Maxime  1986  FRA   1:00.72  1:26.90  2:27.62  29.45
 24  26  480736 KHOROSHILOV Alexander  1984  RUS   1:01.78  1:26.00  2:27.78  30.71
 25  10  51327 PUCHNER Joachim  1987  AUT   1:03.25  1:24.84  2:28.09  33.15
 26  9  291459 PARIS Dominik  1989  ITA   1:02.80  1:25.50  2:28.30  34.79
 27  13  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA   1:02.62  1:25.84  2:28.46  36.05
 28  1  292455 FILL Peter  1982  ITA   1:03.96  1:24.85  2:28.81  38.80
 29  12  511383 FEUZ Beat  1987  SUI   1:04.06  1:24.82  2:28.88  39.35
 30  38  53968 BERTHOLD Frederic  1991  AUT   1:02.84  1:26.50  2:29.34  42.96
 31  34  930105 GRANSTROM Colby  1990  USA   1:01.68  1:27.71  2:29.39  43.36
 32  24  380298 SIROKI Tin  1987  CRO   1:03.85  1:27.25  2:31.10  56.79
 33  42  92534 CHONGAROV Nikola  1989  BUL   1:04.34  1:27.18  2:31.52  60.09
Disqualified 1st run
   46  92570 GEORGIEV Svetoslav  1991  BUL         
Did not start 2nd run
   41  150594 TREJBAL Filip  1985  CZE         
   39  102435 JANYK Michael  1982  CAN         
   25  50547 SCHOENFELDER Rainer  1977  AUT         
   22  530165 BRANDENBURG Will  1987  USA         
Did not finish 2nd run
   33  511896 MURISIER Justin  1992  SUI         
   32  53922 WIESER Manuel  1990  AUT         
   16  192665 GRANGE Jean-Baptiste  1984  FRA         
Did not finish 1st run
   47  291145 DEVILLE Cristian  1981  ITA         
   45  700868 FALAT Matej  1993  SVK         
   44  532138 KASPER Nolan  1989  USA         
   30  50824 DREIER Christoph  1981  AUT         
   23  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE         
   15  294904 PANGRAZZI Paolo  1988  ITA       

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