Ligety wins Kranjska Gora and earns fourth GS crown
Ted Ligety won his fourth World Cup GS title today (March 9) just the way he wanted to, by winning on one of his favorite courses, the Podkoren 3 at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Austria's Marcel Hirscher was second in the race and is in the GS standings, but cannot catch the American in the one remaining GS on the schedule.
Umbrellas were the fashion accessory of the day as a steady rain fell throughout the second run. While the rain actually helped activate the salt and chemicals liberally sprinkled on the race surface, it created a mix of conditions with some turns icing up and holding up decently and others giving away to the warm temperatures creating ruts.
Alexis Pinturault was third fastest on the day, Feleix Neureuther fourth and Thomas Fanara fifth. Aksel Lund Svindal, in a battle with Hirscher for the World Cup's coveted overall title finished sixth and now sits 69points back with two slaloms, a GS, a downhill and a super G yet to be held. He will hold an advantage in two of those five races and fights an uphill fight.
Ligety said locking the GS title down was “a huge weight off my shoulders,” indicating he would now be able to enjoy World Cup Finals scheduled at Lenzerheide, Switzerland March 13-19. Though he won five of the seven Cup GS's held so far this season, and never missed the podium, he could not be comfortable until Hirscher was mathematically eliminated.
“I had an awesome season in GS, but Hirscher was right there,” he said from the finish. “Even when I was winning by three seconds he was still there in second.” Hirscher only missed one GS podium this season but both he and Pinturault were quick to applaud Ligety's second run that gave him a .45 of a second margin.
The second run was contested in rain that made visibility difficult as it clung to goggles and had several skiers, including Svindal, actively wiping them off mid-course. German Fritz Dopfer had his goggles knocked off when he hit a gate with his head. Reaching to find them he got caught in soft slushy snow and flew off course slamming into the safety fencing along skiers left side of the slope. He appeared to have sustained no serious damage, though a hold was called to repair the fencing. It was the only time action slowed as skiers were sent off every minute, 15seconds as race officials hurried to get the race in before heavier rainfall began. With a slalom on tap for tomorrow, Kranjska Gora will be hard pressed to provide a solid race surface.
The win was the fifth in GS at Kranjska Gora for Ligety who also won in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
“This hill is awesome. It has everything,” Ligety said. “I'm super proud to win here again.”
by Hank McKee
Men's World Cup GS, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 9, 2013
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
5 Fanara, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
7 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
8 Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
9 Noesig, Fischer/Lange/Fischer
10 Defago, Rossignol/Rossignol/Rossignol
Men's World Cup GS, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, March 9, 2013. ... It is the final weekend of the World Cup regular season. ... It is the 31st of 40 scheduled men's races. ... the seventh of eight slated GS's. ... It is the 77th Cup race hosted by Kranjska Gora, which first hosted in 1968.
It is the 16th career World Cup win for Ted Ligety, all of them coming in GS. ... He is now alone in third all time among men for Cup GS wins behind Ingemar Stenmark (46) and Michael VonGruenigen (23). ... He had been tied with Alberto Tomba. ... It is his fifth win at Kranjska Gora. ... It is his eighth win of the season including three gold medals at the World Championships.
It is the 42nd career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher. ... his sixth at Kranjska Gora. ... It is his 17th Cup podium in GS. ... He has finished on the podium in 17 of his 18 completed races this season including World Championships. ... He finished on the podium in six of the seven Cup GS's this season.
It is the 13th career World Cup podium placing for Alexis Pinturault. ... his fourth at Kranjska Gora. ... It is his fifth career Cup podium in GS. ... It is his sixth podium of the season, second in GS.
Marcel Hirscher bumps his lead of the World Cup Overall standings to 1295-1226 over Aksel Lund Svindal (sixth in race) with five races remaining. ... Ligety is third with 909pts. ... Erik Guay (did not race) is top Canadian in 18th place with 378pts. ... Ligety leads the GS standings 620-495 over Hirscher with one race remaining and cannot be overtaken for the title. ... Manfred Moelgg (14th in race) is third with 275pts. ... No other American or Canadian will qualify for World Cup finals in GS. ... Austria leads the men's Nations Cup standings 5442-3600 for Italy. ... France in third with 2959. ... The US is sixth at 1535 and Canada eighth with 880pts.
Kranjska Gora (SLO)
FIS World Cup
Men's Giant Slalom
March 9, 2013
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|6||1||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:23.15||1:13.58||2:36.73||7.44|
|17||33||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA||1:24.32||1:13.57||2:37.89||14.09|
|23||27||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA||1:25.65||1:13.00||2:38.65||18.44|
|27||23||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:25.72||1:13.15||2:38.87||19.70|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|58||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|42||422139||KILDE Aleksander Aamodt||1992||NOR|
|35||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|40||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|