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Ligety snares another two second GS margin at Alta Badia

Sunday, (Dec. 16) the best ski racers on the planet were severely tested by Alta Badia’s classic giant slalom hill, the Gran Risa. One of them rose above the challenge: America’s Ted Ligety put in a first run of gargantuan proportions to lead by an amazing 2.4 seconds. It proved more than enough to secure his 14th career GS win and put him in a tie with Hermann Maier and Benjamin Raich for fourth on the all-time GS win list (among men).

Though the defending GS champ, Marcel Hirscher, put the hammer down in his second run to illicit a bit of pressure, and although Ligety had his share of second run mistakes, touching his elbow to the snow high on the course, the first run lead proved to be too much for any to overcome. Ligety got his third GS win of the season by a massive 2.04 margin. Hirscher held second for his sixth podium of the season and Frenchman Thomas Fanara notched third, matching his career best mark from the same hill in December 2010 and at Adelboden in January 2011.

Ligety was at a loss to explain his first run heroics. “I guess,” he said, “I just arced more than everybody else.”

Arcing the Gran Risa is easier said than done. On a back and forth wide set second run down the classically rock hard surface, few looked good through their entire run. With just five skiers within three seconds of Ligety the only hope was to go all out and hope the American failed to stay on course. Though his touch down raised the possibility, Ligety’s physical strength allowed him to recover and mental strength to maintain his composure.

Ligety said the run was ” … a tough ride. It (Alta Badia) is always very technical and was really bumpy in that second run. A couple of times I had my elbow in the snow and everything. It wasn’t easy but I was able to stay on my feet in the finish line at least.”

The fastest second run of the day went to Mathieu Faivre, the first man out of the start. It created a lead that held through a dozen skiers, until Davide Simoncelli used training knowledge of his local hill to take over. Faivre eventually fell to tenth. German Fritz Dopfer quickly wrestled the lead away from Simoncelli. They would finish fourth and fifth. Alexis Pinturault, with – at 21 years of age – limited experience on the Gran Risa, had been third after one run but saw his lead dwindle from errors committed high on the track leaving only Hirscher to present a challenge.

And he tried, oh how he tried. Hirscher was magnificent in recording the second fastest time of the afternoon heat pushing to the limit the length of the course. Though he beat the rest of the field by nearly a second and a quarter, Ligety needed to court disaster to lose the race. He courted it, but did not succumb to it.

Gepa photo

The SCOOP
by Hank McKee

Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Alta Badia, Italy, Dec. 16, 2012
Equipment

Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
4 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
5 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
7 Sandell, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
9 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
10 Faivre, Head/Head/Head

Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Alta Badia, Italy, Dec. 16, 2012. … It is the 23rd race of the 73 race 2012-13 World Cup season. … The 12th of 36 men’s races and the fourth of eight scheduled giant slaloms. … The remaining four GS races include one in January, one in February and two in March. … It is the 29th Cup race hosted at Alta Badia and the 24th GS.

It is the 14th career World Cup win for Ted Ligety. … All of them in GS. … It is his third win of the season. … It is the 249th US Cup win. … He moves into a tie for fourth among men all time for GS wins with Benjamin Raich and Hermann Maier. … He trails Alberto Tomba’s 15, Michael VonGruenigen’s 23 and Ingemar Stenmark’s 46 GS wins. … It is his second win at Alta Badia. … Massimiliano Blardone, Kalle Palander and Tomba own the most wins at the site with three each.

It is the 33rd career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher. … his 15th in GS. … It is his sixth podium of the season in six completed races. … It is his second podium scored at Alta Badia having won last season’s slalom.

It is the third career Cup podium for Thomas Fanara, all of them third place finishes. … He was third at Alta Badia Dec. 19, 2010 and at Adelboden Jan. 8, 2011, both in GS. … It was his third score of the season having also placed fourth at Soelden and seventh in GS at Val d’Isere.

It is the fifth best Cup result for Tim Jitloff of 20 scoring results. … It is one placing better than his score at Alta Badia last season.

Aksel Lund Svindal (ninth in race) maintains the lead of the World Cup overall standings 614-508 over Ligety. … Hirscher is third with 460pts. … Erik Guay (did not race)  is top Canadian in 11th with 182pts. … Ligety leads the GS standings 360-320 over Hirscher. … Manfred Moelgg (19th in race) is third with 162pts. … Jean-Philippe Roy is top Canadian in 36th with 14pts. … Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 1986-1483 over Italy. … France is third with 1106. … The US ranks fifth with 865 and Canada seventh with 384pts.

Alta Badia (ITA)
FIS World Cup
Men’s Giant Slalom
Dec. 16, 2012
Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time FIS Points
 1  2  534562 LIGETY Ted  1984  USA   1:17.10  1:20.17  2:37.27  0.00
 2  5  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel  1989  AUT   1:19.50  1:19.81  2:39.31  11.54
 3  4  191750 FANARA Thomas  1981  FRA   1:19.84  1:20.70  2:40.54  18.51
 4  14  202462 DOPFER Fritz  1987  GER   1:21.52  1:19.97  2:41.49  23.88
 5  10  292120 SIMONCELLI Davide  1979  ITA   1:21.60  1:20.13  2:41.73  25.24
 6  3  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis  1991  FRA   1:19.82  1:21.93  2:41.75  25.35
 7  21  180534 SANDELL Marcus  1987  FIN   1:20.80  1:21.24  2:42.04  26.99
 7  18  201702 NEUREUTHER Felix  1984  GER   1:21.20  1:20.84  2:42.04  26.99
 9  12  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund  1982  NOR   1:21.14  1:20.99  2:42.13  27.50
 10  36  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu  1992  FRA   1:23.08  1:19.35  2:42.43  29.20
 11  38  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca  1990  ITA   1:22.41  1:20.08  2:42.49  29.54
 12  29  51159 N
OESIG Christoph 
1985  AUT   1:21.58  1:20.94  2:42.52  29.71
 13  9  50625 RAICH Benjamin  1978  AUT   1:20.01  1:22.54  2:42.55  29.88
 14  13  191423 RICHARD Cyprien  1979  FRA   1:21.51  1:21.11  2:42.62  30.28
 15  30  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian  1987  NOR   1:21.43  1:21.23  2:42.66  30.50
 16  15  53985 MATHIS Marcel  1991  AUT   1:20.86  1:21.82  2:42.68  30.62
 17  27  534959 JITLOFF Tim  1985  USA   1:22.31  1:20.52  2:42.83  31.46
 18  23  501324 OLSSON Matts  1988  SWE   1:22.31  1:20.68  2:42.99  32.37
 19  6  292491 MOELGG Manfred  1982  ITA   1:20.94  1:22.18  2:43.12  33.11
 20  11  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil  1985  NOR   1:22.01  1:21.15  2:43.16  33.33
 21  16  380260 KOSTELIC Ivica  1979  CRO   1:22.03  1:21.33  2:43.36  34.46
 22  25  420148 KARLSEN Truls Ove  1975  NOR   1:22.87  1:20.72  2:43.59  35.77
 23  20  192506 MISSILLIER Steve  1984  FRA   1:21.44  1:22.36  2:43.80  36.95
 24  51  193967 MUFFAT JEANDET Victor  1989  FRA   1:23.06  1:21.05  2:44.11  38.71
 25  1  50742 REICHELT Hannes  1980  AUT   1:22.12  1:22.01  2:44.13  38.82
 26  28  292967 EISATH Florian  1984  ITA   1:22.95  1:21.25  2:44.20  39.22
 27  31  501017 MYHRER Andre  1983  SWE   1:22.39  1:21.94  2:44.33  39.95
Disqualified 1st run
   34  531799 FORD Tommy  1989  USA         
Did not qualify for 2nd run
   71  460060 BARBU Alexandru  1987  ROU         
   70  700879 ZAMPA Andreas  1993  SVK         
   67  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier  1980  ARG         
   65  6290440 ZINGERLE Alex  1992  ITA         
   64  561217 KOSI Klemen  1991  SLO         
   63  400237 MEINERS Maarten  1992  NED         
   60  51332 SCHEIBER Florian  1987  AUT         
   58  294890 NANI Roberto  1988  ITA         
   56  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo  1985  ITA         
   53  53902 MAYER Matthias  1990  AUT  &n
bsp;
     
   52  100558 COOK Dustin  1989  CAN         
   50  510997 BERTHOD Marc  1983  SUI         
   47  150644 KRYZL Krystof  1986  CZE         
   46  192653 FREY Thomas  1984  FRA         
   45  930160 KELLEY Robby  1990  USA         
   44  180666 TORSTI Samu  1991  FIN         
   43  481006 ZUEV Stepan  1988  RUS         
   42  700830 ZAMPA Adam  1990  SVK         
   41  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas  1984  FRA         
   40  501458 LINDH Calle  1990  SWE         
   37  561032 JAZBEC Janez  1984  SLO         
   35  481148 MAYTAKOV Sergei  1990  RUS         
   33  101895 ROY Jean-Philippe  1979  CAN         
   32  192746 THEAUX Adrien  1984  FRA         
   26  191746 DE TESSIERES Gauthier  1981  FRA         
   22  511313 JANKA Carlo  1986  SUI         
   17  51215 BAUMANN Romed  1986  AUT         
Did not finish 2nd run
   49  511718 PLEISCH Manuel  1990  SUI         
   8  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp  1983  AUT         
   7  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano  1979  ITA         
Did not finish 1st run
   69  680047 BENIAIDZE Alex  1991  GEO         
   68  150743 BERNDT Ondrej  1988  CZE         
   66  40489 LAIDLAW Luke  1992  AUS         
   62<
/td>
 491129 TERRA Ferran  1987  SPA         
   61  910004 DEFLORIAN Mirko  1980  MDA         
   59  531452 BIESEMEYER Thomas  1989  USA         
   57  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik  1991  GER         
   55  511634 SPESCHA Christian  1989  SUI         
   54  53980 KRIECHMAYR Vincent  1991  AUT         
   48  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino  1992  SUI         
   39  511638 TUMLER Thomas  1989  SUI         
   24  202437 LUITZ Stefan  1992  GER         
   19  510727 DEFAGO Didier  1977  SUI       

Hank McKee

Senior Editor

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