Mr. GS unleashes the dynamo in St. Moritz


Ted Ligety in St. Moritz (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

Ted Ligety in St. Moritz (GEPA/Wolfgang Grebien)

The idyllic Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz has long catered to the elite, but the level of elite displayed by Ted Ligety in conditions that nearly scuttled the World Cup giant slalom much like it had Saturday’s downhill, was nothing short of magnificent. Ligety scorched the first run in falling snow and thick fog taking the first half lead by 1.28 seconds.

In the second run, delayed by the fog before it started and again with 11 racers still left to ski, Ligety added to that margin, flying away with a 1.51-second victory over Marcel Hirscher with Alexis Pinturault in third, 1.69 back. Past the podium, the rest of the field was more than two seconds behind, seemingly in a different race than the one Ligety ran.

Truth be known, the course was just as difficult for Ligety who said, “That was a bumpy ride. It’s so tough when you can’t see anything; it just makes it that much more tiring. That was a hack-fest battle, for sure, so I’m glad that I was actually able to make it to the finish line, let alone win.”

He alone was able to ski the Corviglia course the way he wanted, generating his characteristic low angles, starting high in the turns and letting his ski run out, generating speed all the way. And while the others dealt with a soft course that got chewed up mercilessly, Ligety’s style found a cleaner track on a day when a clear track meant everything.

“Generally the way I ski is a little bit rounder than everybody else, try to make smoother, cleaner turns and not worry about the distance so much. I think when it’s like this and it’s so hacked up, that plays well for me because I kind of avoid some of those bigger holes,” noted Ligety.

The win, Ligety’s 21st and the fourth of the season, pushed him within five points of Pinturault in the giant slalom standings, though the result still leaves him 100 points behind Hirscher.

“It is really tough for all, but in general we have to thank them for making this race happen and making it as fair as it could be. I am sure it was not easy,” Hirscher said. “I am glad we raced today though as I heard the course is rather similar to the one in Sochi, so it was a good test before I head to the Games.”

Hirscher also moved into the lead of the overall standings when Aksel Lund Svindal failed to finish the second run. Svindal was one of the unfortunate skiers to run just before the fog settled in firmly to cause a delay in the midst of the race.

Absent from the challenge was German Felix Neureuther. He skipped the race in favor of resting his back just before the Olympics.

“In recent days I have had to treat my back, my back needs a break,” said Neureuther. “This is due to the many racing trips under full commitment.” He waited until the day before the race to make the final call, but he decided to prioritize the Olympics instead of chasing World Cup points. “It’s all right, but with a view of the Games I just do not want to take any chances,” he said.

In an impressive battle from the back, Norwegian Marcus Monsen moved from the 65th start position to finish 26th in his World Cup debut. The 18-year-old member of the Europa Cup squad didn’t even have a Norwegian World Cup suit for the race, a detail now likely to change before his next outing on the circuit.

Tim Jitloff, the only North American other than Ted Ligety in the second run, ultimately finished 17th. Canadian Phil Brown just missed out of second run in 31st, .06 seconds off of qualifying.

 

The Scoop

Men’s World Cup giant slalom, St. Moritz, Switzerland, Feb. 2, 2014

Equipment - Skier, skis/boots/bindings

1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head

2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic

3 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon

4 Olsson, Nordica/Nordica/

5 Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

6 Nani, Volkl/Fischer/Marker

7 Muffat-Jeandet, Dynastar/Look/

8 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/

9 Haugen, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol

10 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer

Men’s World Cup giant slalom, St. Moritz, Switzerland, Feb. 2, 2014. … It is the 25th race of the men’s 34 race 2014 World Cup schedule. … The sixth of eight scheduled GS’s. … It is a race rescheduled from Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

It is the 21st career World Cup win for Ted Ligety… his fourth of the season.  … It is his 20th World Cup GS win, a U.S. record. … He is fourth all-time for GS wins, one behind Vreni Schneider. … It is the 266th U.S. World Cup win and the seventh of the season. Ted is fourth all-time among Americans behind Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Phil Mahre for World Cup victories.

It is the 57th career World Cup podium for Marcel Hirscher. … his 14th of the season.

It is the 20th career World Cup podium for Alexis Pinturault. … his sixth of the season.

Tim Jitloff matches his ninth best career World Cup placing… his third best of the season.

Leif Kristian Haugen matches his third best finish of the season.

Three skiers score their first World Cup points: Dominik Schwaiger (bib 54), Stefan Brennsteiner (bib 62) and Marcus Monsen (bib 65).

Marcel Hirscher takes over the lead of the World Cup overall standings 955-897 over Aksel Lund Svindal (DNF in race). … Alexis Pinturault is third with 774pts. Ligety is fourth with 629pt and Bode Miller (DNF in race) eighth with 449pts. … Erik Guay is top Canadian overall in 23rd place with 261pts.

Hirscher leads the GS standings 460-365 over Pinturault. … Ligety is third at 360pts. … Trevor Philp leads Canada in 48th place with 5pts.

Austria leads the men’s Nations Cup 3974-2786 over France. … Italy is third with 2187pts. …The U.S. moves up to fifth with 1660pts and Canada is ninth with 748pts.

 

Results

Rank Bib FIS Code Name Year Nation Run 1 Run 2 Total Time Diff. FIS Points
 1  4  534562 LIGETY Ted 1984 USA  1:18.80  1:19.95  2:38.75  0.00
 2  2  53831 HIRSCHER Marcel 1989 AUT  1:20.23  1:20.03  2:40.26  +1.51  8.47
 3  7  194364 PINTURAULT Alexis 1991 FRA  1:20.08  1:20.36  2:40.44  +1.69  9.47
 4  21  501324 OLSSON Matts 1988 SWE  1:20.71  1:20.72  2:41.43  +2.68  15.02
 5  10  51007 SCHOERGHOFER Philipp 1983 AUT  1:20.71  1:20.84  2:41.55  +2.80  15.70
 6  19  294890 NANI Roberto 1988 ITA  1:21.10  1:20.89  2:41.99  +3.24  18.16
 7  28  193967 MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor 1989 FRA  1:21.24  1:20.79  2:42.03  +3.28  18.39
 8  1  202462 DOPFER Fritz 1987 GER  1:20.67  1:21.44  2:42.11  +3.36  18.84
 9  13  421669 HAUGEN Leif Kristian 1987 NOR  1:21.77  1:20.81  2:42.58  +3.83  21.47
 10  6  191750 FANARA Thomas 1981 FRA  1:21.16  1:21.55  2:42.71  +3.96  22.20
 11  15  50625 RAICH Benjamin 1978 AUT  1:21.50  1:21.23  2:42.73  +3.98  22.31
 12  26  422304 KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik 1994 NOR  1:22.31  1:20.72  2:43.03  +4.28  23.99
 13  17  421483 JANSRUD Kjetil 1985 NOR  1:22.52  1:20.73  2:43.25  +4.50  25.23
 14  3  292491 MOELGG Manfred 1982 ITA  1:21.54  1:21.81  2:43.35  +4.60  25.79
 15  11  202437 LUITZ Stefan 1992 GER  1:21.80  1:21.68  2:43.48  +4.73  26.52
 16  25  53985 MATHIS Marcel 1991 AUT  1:21.62  1:22.08  2:43.70  +4.95  27.75
 17  22  534959 JITLOFF Tim 1985 USA  1:21.99  1:21.85  2:43.84  +5.09  28.54
 18  27  501017 MYHRER Andre 1983 SWE  1:21.71  1:22.22  2:43.93  +5.18  29.04
 19  20  292000 BLARDONE Massimiliano 1979 ITA  1:22.31  1:21.97  2:44.28  +5.53  31.00
 20  12  192506 MISSILLIER Steve 1984 FRA  1:22.60  1:21.75  2:44.35  +5.60  31.40
 21  54  202345 SCHWAIGER Dominik 1991 GER  1:23.28  1:21.24  2:44.52  +5.77  32.35
 22  31  53902 MAYER Matthias 1990 AUT  1:23.26  1:21.45  2:44.71  +5.96  33.41
 23  62  54027 BRENNSTEINER Stefan 1991 AUT  1:23.31  1:21.44  2:44.75  +6.00  33.64
 24  23  511313 JANKA Carlo 1986 SUI  1:22.71  1:22.08  2:44.79  +6.04  33.86
 25  45  990048 BORSOTTI Giovanni 1990 ITA  1:23.59  1:21.38  2:44.97  +6.22  34.87
 26  65  422390 MONSEN Marcus 1995 NOR  1:23.98  1:21.32  2:45.30  +6.55  36.72
 27  9  292120 SIMONCELLI Davide 1979 ITA  1:21.86  1:23.66  2:45.52  +6.77  37.95
 28  24  990116 DE ALIPRANDINI Luca 1990 ITA  1:22.60  1:23.06  2:45.66  +6.91  38.74
 29  14  180534 SANDELL Marcus 1987 FIN  1:22.10  1:23.96  2:46.06  +7.31  40.98
Disqualified 1st run
 49  422139 KILDE Aleksander Aamodt 1992 NOR
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 71  491151 DE LA CUESTA Paul 1988 SPA
 69  103612 PRIDY Morgan 1990 CAN
 68  511513 CAVIEZEL Mauro 1988 SUI
 64  934643 GOLDBERG Jared 1991 USA
 63  194457 GALEOTTI Greg 1992 FRA
 61  700879 ZAMPA Andreas 1993 SVK
 60  6290440 ZINGERLE Alex 1992 ITA
 53  293550 MARSAGLIA Matteo 1985 ITA
 50  481327 TRIKHICHEV Pavel 1992 RUS
 48  700830 ZAMPA Adam 1990 SVK
 42  930160 KELLEY Robby 1990 USA
 39  511741 ZURBRIGGEN Elia 1990 SUI
 38  103676 BROWN Philip 1991 CAN
 37  150398 BANK Ondrej 1980 CZE
 33  511638 TUMLER Thomas 1989 SUI
Did not finish 2nd run
 5  421328 SVINDAL Aksel Lund 1982 NOR
Did not finish 1st run
 70  530939 WEIBRECHT Andrew 1986 USA
 67  30149 SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier 1980 ARG
 66  561278 REICH – POGLADIC Andraz 1993 SLO
 59  510997 BERTHOD Marc 1983 SUI
 58  400237 MEINERS Maarten 1992 NED
 57  422278 WINDINGSTAD Rasmus 1993 NOR
 56  150644 KRYZL Krystof 1986 CZE
 55  54063 FELLER Manuel 1992 AUT
 52  51215 BAUMANN Romed 1986 AUT
 51  511896 MURISIER Justin 1992 SUI
 47  193334 RIVAS Gabriel 1986 FRA
 46  103865 PHILP Trevor 1992 CAN
 44  180666 TORSTI Samu 1991 FIN
 43  481148 MAYTAKOV Sergei 1990 RUS
 41  511852 CAVIEZEL Gino 1992 SUI
 40  192653 FREY Thomas 1984 FRA
 36  481006 ZUEV Stepan 1988 RUS
 35  561244 KRANJEC Zan 1992 SLO
 34  534038 NICKERSON Warner 1981 USA
 32  100558 COOK Dustin 1989 CAN
 30  192504 MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas 1984 FRA
 29  292967 EISATH Florian 1984 ITA
 18  191423 RICHARD Cyprien 1979 FRA
 16  532431 MILLER Bode 1977 USA
 8  194495 FAIVRE Mathieu 1992 FRA
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