Ligety crushes GS field for biggest win margin of season
Misson accomplished. Ted Ligety was out to show the boys of the World Cup tour what winning GS is all about at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Saturday (March 10). It suffices to say that down the final pitch of the Podkoren 3 course, where much of the tour's best had experienced difficulty, Ligety lost time. He still won by an astounding 1.61 seconds, the biggest GS margin of victory this season.
Claiming second with a miraculous recovery about five gates into his second run was Frenchman Alexis Pinturault. It was his best GS result (he did win the Moscow show parallel) since the opening race of the season, which was nice for him, but more importantly it pushed the season's technical star, Marcel Hirscher down to third and that left a mighty slim door open for Ligety to regain his GS title.
Should Ligety win the final GS at Schladming next week, and Hirscher finish 23rd or worse, he would overtake the Austrian. He does not hold out much hope.
“Hirscher would have to pull a Ted and blow out in the final,” Ligety said, in order for him to win. “I skied really well today. In the last couple of races I've had the right amount of intensity. I went hard, for sure, in both runs (today) and it's definitely nice. It's just too bad I couldn't have done it a couple of weeks ago.”
The other season long battle, that for the World Cup overall title, tightened up. Swiss Beat Feuz leads the war, but did not attend the gate races at Kranjska Gora. Hirscher did finish third, displaying his own ample recovery skills when caught running a touch too straight on a bumpy Podkoren 3 course, and cutting Feuz's lead to 55 points. Third on the list of overall contenders is Ivica Kostelic, making his return to the tour from knee surgery Feb. 13. He finished 25th, an indicator he is not yet to full strength. His six points gained leave him 201 shy of Feuz. Aksel Lund Svindal has climbed back into the fight finishing eighth, and pushing his season total into four digits to 1031, or 219 back.
With the season winding down there was a lot of clean skiing at Kranjska Gora with racers out of the running for titles and post season awards concentrating, perhaps, on technique and skiing just a touch reserved.
That is not to say there wasn't full bore attacking going on from others, Ligety, Pinturault, Hirscher and fourth finishing Massimiliano Blardone as prime examples. Matts Olsson charged from 16th in the first run to finish sixth and Steve Missillier recorded the third fastest second run to move from 18th to ninth.
But the fastest runs of the day, both in the first heat, and the second came from Ligety. He is back in top form. "It's the most points I've score in GS," he said. "It's a crazy season Hirscher has had, that's a Stenmarkesque skier for sure."
Hirscher said that although he is now perhaps favored for multiple World Cup titles, he is taking nothing for granted.
"Maybe I'll get a globe and Maybe I'll get none. Regardless this has been an incredible
season for me. I won eight races and with or without a Globe- it was
Of Ligety, Hirscher said, "He was not of this planet today."
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup GS, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 10, 2012
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
3 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
4 Blardone, Dynastar/Lange/Look
5 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Olsson, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
7 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/
8 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
9 Missillier, Dynastar/Lange/Look
10 Richard, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
Men's World Cup GS, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 10, 2012. ... It is the 39th of 45 races on the men's 2012 World Cup season, with one cancellation. ... There are five races remaining. ... It is the eighth of nine scheduled GS's. ... It is the 75th Cup race to be held at Kranjska Gora. ... The 37th GS. ... It is the third race of the season at the site as the women visited Jan. 21 and 22.
It is the 11th career World Cup win for Ted Ligety. ... all in GS. ... It is his fourth win at Kranjska Gora. ... It is his third win of the season, the first since Beaver Creek Dec. 6. It is the 240th US World Cup win. ... and 17th of the season.
It is the fifth career World Cup podium finish for Alexis Pinturault. ... the third in GS. ... And his second at Kranjska Gora having been second last season as well. ... It is his fourth podium of the season and second in GS having also placed second to Ligety at Soelden to open the season Oct. 23.
It is the 25th career Cup podium result for Marcel Hirscher. ... his tenth in GS. ... It is his fifth podium in six completed races at Kranjska Gora. ... It is his 12th podium of the season in 15 completed races. ... the sixth podium of the season in GS.
North Americans: It is the fourth best career World Cup finish for Tommy Ford. ... third best of the season. ... It is the fourth best of four scoring finishes at Kranjska Gora for Jean-Philippe Roy. ... his sixth GS score of the season. ... It is also the sixth GS score of the season for Tim Jitloff.
Standings: With five races remaining Beat Feuz (DNQ 35th 1st) leads the World Cup overall standings 1250-1195 over Hirscher. ... Ivica Kostelic (25th in race) is third with 1049pts. ... Ligety leads the US skiers in ninth overall with 774pts. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is the top Canadian in 16th with 517pts, Jan Hudec is 17th with 494pts. ... Hirscher leads the GS standings 605-513 over Ligety. ... Massimiliano Blardone (fourth in race) is third in the GS standings with 408pts. ... Roy leads Canada in 29th with 62pts. Jitloff finishes his season in 27th and Tommy Ford in 28th, not qualifying for the World Cup Finals cut-off of 25.
Kranjska Gora (SLO)
FIS World Cup
Men's Giant Slalom
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|8||5||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:13.16||1:12.35||2:25.51||18.56|
|22||25||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR||1:14.41||1:12.19||2:26.60||25.22|
|Disqualified 1st run|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|71||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|59||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|50||421946||KRISTIANSEN Emil Bjoertomt||1990||NOR|
|45||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA|
|27||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|35||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR|