Ligety claims huge margin in Soelden snowstorm


Emphatically. Ted Ligety won emphatically. Ted Ligety re-established himself as the best GS ski racer in the world overcoming horrid conditions for the first World Cup victory of the men’s season, at Soelden, Austria today (Oct. 28), by a margin of 2.75 seconds. That kind of spread hasn’t been seen since the 1970′s. Rarely, if ever, had it been accomplished almost entirely in a single run.

There isn’t a whole lot about ski racing that is patently fair. The first run demonstrated that at as snowstorm that had forced the close of the long and winding road up from the village of Soelden to the course on the Rettenbach Glacier. The storm broke after the first nine skiers of the first run had skied, Ligety among them.

The second run started snowy as well, and rather than breaking, it got progressively worse, snowing harder and harder with each passing racer. None of that mattered to Ligety. Sitting second after the first run, he ran next to last, giving him the worst conditions of any competitor in either run. He powered through the fresh snow, all but invisible to a crowd of 12,000 that had managed to claw their way up once stuck buses had been cleared from the road. He was confident, precise, strong and extremely courageous. Ted Ligety displayed he deserves to be called the best.

“What can I say about the incredible Ted Ligety,” said no less an authority than last season’s overall and GS champion Marcel Hirscher. “Right now he is far away from me. … He is in outter space. He skied awesome. He skied every gate perfect.”

On the “new” skis, with the dimensions being used for the first time this year, perfection is exactly what is required.

US Head Men’s Coach Sasha Rearick explained: “They work great if you ski perfect. What they’ve done is they’ve taken away all the forgiveness.”

Ligety said he probably took more chances, particularly in the second run, than he should have.

“It was super bumpy and you couldn’t see anything,” said Ligety. “I ski a little rounder than most and Ii think that helped me which is a bit weird. I was going all out on the full second run taking more risks than was probably smart.”

The result was a margin that is unprecedented in this century.

“To have won with the biggest margin in more than 30 years I am amazingly surprised. That’s a crazy once in a career achievement. It’s phenomenal. I don’t expect I can do this ever again.”

He just might, but it will take a perfect storm, and a perfect response to it.

Overshadowed by the milestone career highlight day of Ligety were some strong performances from three other North Americans. Tim Jitloff finished 19th, sliding back after a stellar first run effort that had left him eighth. Canadians Jean-Philipp Roy posted 17th and Dustin Cook nailed down his first World Cup GS points in 22nd.

Jitloff said, “It was a little choppy, but you know every year I get a little more of an old man’s belly and a little bit stronger and these new skis fit my body type a little more. … (With) these new skis, it takes brute strength, and I like it. I like that aggression. Takes two runs, though.” -HM

Gepa photo

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Soelden, Austria, Oct. 28, 2012

Equipment
Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
3 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Defago, Rossignol/Lange/Rossignol
6 Reichelt, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 DeTessieres, Head/Head/Head
8 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Zampa, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
10 Olsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Soelden, Austria, Oct. 28, 2012: It is the second of 74 World Cup races scheduled this season. … The first of 40 men’s races. … the first of eight scheduled giant slaloms. … It is the 29th Cup race hosted by Soelden, all GS’s and all held in October.

It is Ted Ligety’s 12th World Cup win, all in GS. … his second at Soelden having previously won last season. … It is the 242nd US Cup win and first since finals last season. … Ligety ties Daron Rahlves for fifth on all-time list of US winners, and extends his own record for US GS wins.

It is the 15th Cup podium result for Manfred Moelgg . … his third in GS. … his first at Soelden

It is the 28th career Cup podium finish for Marcel Hirscher. … his 12th in GS. … his first at Soelden.

Jean-Philippe Roy matches his 12th best career Cup result and his eighth best GS result. … It is the serventh best career result for Tim Jitloff. … his fifth best in GS. … and his best finish at Soelden by one placing. … It is the second Cup scoring result for Dustin Cook and his career best.

Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 173-117 over Italy with the US third with 112pts.

Race is outstanding due to the winning margin of 2.75 seconds. … It is the seventh largest in men’s GS all time and the largest since Jasna 1979 when Ingemar Stenmark beat Bojan Krizaj by 4.06 seconds.

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  5  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:18.52  1:17.50  2:36.02  0.00
 2  21  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   1:18.64  1:20.13  2:38.77  15.69
 3  7  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel  1989  AUT   1:19.84  1:19.30  2:39.14  17.80
 4  12  191750 FANARA Thomas  1981  FRA   1:18.48  1:20.77  2:39.25  18.43
 5  14  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI   1:19.75  1:19.70  2:39.45  19.57
 6  3  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT   1:20.00  1:19.62  2:39.62  20.54
 7  27  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA   1:19.86  1:19.89  2:39.75  21.28
 8  15  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:19.97  1:19.83  2:39.80  21.56
 9  40  700830 ZAMPA Adam  1990  SVK   1:20.89  1:18.94  2:39.83  21.73
 10  22  501324 OLSSON Matts  1988  SWE   1:19.90  1:20.12  2:40.02  22.82
 11  28  292967 EISATH Florian  1984  ITA   1:20.46  1:19.64  2:40.10  23.27
 12  13  53985 MATHIS Marcel  1991  AUT   1:20.70  1:19.64  2:40.34  24.64
 13  30  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian  1987  NOR   1:20.38  1:19.98  2:40.36  24.76
 14  17  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:20.75  1:19.65  2:40.40  24.99
 15  9  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:19.62  1:20.82  2:40.44  25.21
 16  39  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA   1:20.25  1:20.26  2:40.51  25.61
 17  26  101895 ROY Jean-Philippe  1979  CAN   1:20.91  1:19.86  2:40.77  27.10
 18  59  294890 NANI Roberto  1988  ITA   1:20.53  1:20.40  2:40.93  28.01
 19  25  534959 JITLOFF Tim  1985  USA   1:19.80  1:21.23  2:41.03  28.58
 20  16  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT   1:19.57  1:22.03  2:41.60  31.83
 21  35  561032 JAZBEC Janez  1984  SLO   1:20.35  1:21.30  2:41.65  32.12
 22  54  100558 COOK Dustin  1989  CAN   1:20.87  1:20.88  2:41.75  32.69
 23  42  51159 NOESIG Christoph  1985  AUT   1:20.40  1:21.43  2:41.83  33.14
Did not start 1st run
   19  511383 FEUZ Beat  1987  SUI         
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   68  380335 ZUBCIC Filip  1993  CRO         
   67  303097 ISHII Tomoya  1989  JPN         
   66  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier  1980  ARG         
   65  990081 CASSE Mattia  1990  ITA         
   64  202265 STAUBITZER Benedikt  1990  GER         
   60  180570 ROMAR Andreas  1989  FIN         
   58  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik  1991  GER         
   57  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA         
   56  511634 SPESCHA Christian  1989  SUI         
   55  191778 PICHOT Sebastien  1981  FRA         
   53  54027 BRENNSTEINER Stefan  1991  AUT         
   52  50600 GOERGL Stephan  1978  AUT         
   51  193967 MUFFAT JEANDET Victor  1989  FRA         
   50  511718 PLEISCH Manuel  1990  SUI         
   49  194212 THOULE Nicolas  1990  FRA         
   48  192653 FREY Thomas  1984  FRA         
   47  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino  1992  SUI         
   46  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE         
   45  930160 KELLEY Robby  1990  USA         
   44  194146 LAMBERT Nicolas  1990  FRA         
   43  103865 PHILP Trevor  1992  CAN         
   41  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt  1992  NOR         
   38  511638 TUMLER Thomas  1989  SUI         
   36  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca  1990  ITA         
   34  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu  1992  FRA         
   33  150398 BANK Ondrej  1980  CZE         
   32  534038 NICKERSON Warner  1981  USA         
   23  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni  1990  ITA         
   20  180534 SANDELL Marcus  1987  FIN         
   11  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI         
   1  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp  1983  AUT         
Did not finish 2nd run
   37  202437 LUITZ Stefan  1992  GER         
   29  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI         
   18  501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE         
   10  292120 SIMONCELLI Davide  1979  ITA         
   8  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR         
   6  202462 DOPFER Fritz  1987  GER         
   2  191423 RICHARD Cyprien  1979  FRA         
Did not finish 1st run
   71  501101 BYGGMARK Jens  1985  SWE         
   70  680053 GELASHVILI Jaba  1993  GEO         
   69  150495 VRABLIK Martin  1982  CZE         
   63  51332 SCHEIBER Florian  1987  AUT         
   62  481006 ZUEV Stepan  1988  RUS         
   61  561244 KRANJEC Zan  1992  SLO         
   31  481148 MAYTAKOV Sergei  1990  RUS         
   24  420148 KARLSEN Truls Ove  1975  NOR         
   4  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano  1979  ITA         

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