Ted Ligety picked up his first non-giant slalom World Cup win Friday (Jan. 17) by claiming the 84th Lauberhorn combined trophy. Although Ligety has won medals in the combined at both the Olympic (2006) and World Championship (2013) levels, he had never scored a World Cup podium in combined, though he has collected fourth and fifth-place results, including one at Wengen in 2008.
The whole day indicated things might be a bit off kilter. Based on weather predictions, the organizers had flip-flopped the usual running order of the event and held the single slalom run first, expecting snowfall to dissipate during the morning to allow for a good downhill run. That turned out to be the right call.
Ligety proved to be the second fastest in the morning slalom, but was a whopping 1.22 seconds behind Frenchman Alexis Pinturault. Still, there was more speed prowess in the field than slalom skills, and he held a solid lead overall.
It didn’t take long for the speed skiers to take control once the downhill leg got underway. Downhill and super G standings leader Aksel Lund Svindal, just 22nd in the slalom leg, took the lead in the early going with a customarily strong downhill run, taking a lead of over a second. It was a lead he held until Sandro Viletta – 16 racers down the star order – finally overtook him. Croatian Natko Zrncic-Dim, charged with making up for teammate Ivica Kostelic’s uncharacteristic straddle in the morning slalom, snuck into the lead by three tenths with a well-executed run down the Lauberhorn course, ultimately good for a podium result in third.
Then came Ligety, who was skiing speed as well as he ever has. Starting .28 ahead, he stretched it out to nearly a second high on course, lost a bit of ground through the flatter sections and then powered through the finish for a 1.08-second lead. That left it to Pinturault to work some magic. The Frenchman conjured up what he could muster, but his large slalom lead continued to dwindle as he worked his way down the historic track leaking away to a half second by the railroad underpass and finally dissolving at the final S-turns to take second. Ted Ligety got his super combined win.
“My slalom was very conservative,” Ligety said. “I knew I could make up some time in the downhill.” After failing to finish at Adelboden last week, Ligety said the win was important to show himself he was “back on track.”
Bode Miller also made the top 10 in ninth place and Jared Goldberg posted 20th for his second-career World Cup score. Andrew Weibrecht also picked up a few points for his 28th place.
See more photos from today’s race in our gallery.
Men’s World Cup super combined, Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2014
Equipment - Skier, skis/boots/bindings
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Zrncic-Dim, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Viletta, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
6 Mermillod-Blondin, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
7 Innerhofer, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
8 Mayer, Head/Head/Head
9 Miller, Head/Head/Head
10 Fill, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
Men’s World Cup super combined,Wengen, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2014. … It is the 17th of 34 races on the men’s World cup schedule. … The first of two combined races. … In an unusual twist, the slalom run is held first.
It is the 20th World Cup win for Ted Ligety, his first in combined… and his third win of the season. … the 265th U.S. World Cup win and the sixth of the season. … Ligety is fourth all time among Americans for World Cup wins, third among American men.
It is the 17th career World Cup podium placing for Alexis Pinturault… his fourth in combined. … He won last season’s combined at Wengen. He is the only Frenchman to have won more than a single World Cup combined. … He has three podium results this season, all of them second place finishes.
It is the fifth World Cup podium for Natko Zrncic-Dim, all in combined.
It is the 160th World Cup top 10 for Bode Miller… his 18th at Wengen. … It is the second-career scoring result for Jared Goldberg, his first on European snow. … It is the third World Cup score of the season for Andrew Weibrecht.
Aksel Lund Svindal (fifth in race) regains the lead in the overall standings 697-675 over Marcel Hirscher (did not race). … Ligety solidifies third at 433pts. … Erik Guay (did not race) is eighth with 261pts and Bode Miller ninth with 259pts.
Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 2636-1883 over France. … Italy is third with 1657pts. … The U.S. is fifth with 1041pts and Canada ninth with 663pts.
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||Diff.|
|5||15||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||54.26||1:51.96||2:46.22||+1.48|
|6||6||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA||51.64||1:54.66||2:46.30||+1.56|
|27||46||194542||GIRAUD MOINE Valentin||1992||FRA||55.83||1:54.10||2:49.93||+5.19|
|36||33||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG||55.00||1:58.57||2:53.57||+8.83|