Ted Ligety had never won at Adelboden. The record book will show that he won the 2013 edition. He’s not so sure.
“Marcel Hirscher won this race today,” he said from the finish. “I got lucky, and I guess I’ll take it.”
To no one’s surprise the race for victory was between Hirscher and Ligety. Those two, and Alexis Pinturault, have accounted for every GS win this season and they were more than a second up on the rest of the field after the first run.
Hirscher, the first run winner and final man down the hill, had built a big lead over Ligety in the second heat. He was .17 ahead at the start and worked that margin up, first to .56, then to .75 and then to 1.09seconds. It seemed he was skiing faster than possible and perhaps he was for he ran into major trouble, double fisting a gate while airborne, and then driving through a gate on the final pitch. Horizonal on the snow, he still made his ski carve enough to stay on the snow and get a finish, though it was well back in 16th place.
It was Germans sharing Ligety’s podium, Fritz Dopfer in second and Felix Neureuther – his with the fastest second run time of the day – in third.
Ligety, himself, ran into some difficulty at about the same spot as Hirscher. “It was so dark and bumpy in there. I just had enough reserve strength to stay on my feet.”
On this day he needed that bit of his deep arsenal to win. It appears the rest of the World Cup, at least Hirscher, has begun to catch up to the advantage Ligety has demonstrated with his comfort on the new GS skis. His winning margin, 1.15seconds, will seem to prove his early season domination continued at Adelboden.
Hirscher said he was glad to see that his hard work was paying off, but said, “Today I crossed the border, unfortunately. … and I have been punished for it. I was about to win, but now I cannot even buy a sausage roll.”
After concerns about a heavy snowfall on Thursday and Friday, Saturday (Jan. 12) dawned bright and sunny with virtually no wind, making for a perfect day for racing. The track, the famed Chuenisbaergli, held up reasonably well, but both course sets proved challenging on what some regard as the most difficult GS hill in the world. Hirscher was not the only race to get airborne. The steep finish pitch into the stadium proved problematic for many.
Manuel Moelgg, a tactian if ever there was one, was one of few to gain time on that stadium approach. He had the second fastest second run time to finish fourth. The always amazing Ivica Kostelic used a great first run to get his best GS finish since last season’s October opener in fifth.
World Cup overall leader Aksel Lund Svindal notched his third sixth place GS finish of the season.
Robby Kelley was the only other American to finish both runs in 23rd place for the first World Cup score of his career.
Brennan Rubie made it to the second run, but didn’t last long, hitting his hip to the snow on the first pitch and skiing out.
Tommy Ford crashed out in the first run and Tim Jitloff was rolling along with a top 10 first run time when he seemed to run out of gas, struggling down the final pitch and dropping well back to finish 25th. Eight skiers later he was bumped out of the flip 30.
The embattled Swiss men’s team had three young racers making their first World Cup starts. The loyal Swiss fans got one bit of solace as Gino Caviezel got a second run from the 52nd start and then, fueled by the crowd, finished 11th with the fourth fastest second run of the day.
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan. 12, 2013
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
3 Neureuther, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
4 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Kostelic, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
6 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
7 Schoerghofer, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
8 Raich, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
9 Sandell, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
10 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Adelboden, Switzerland, Jan 12, 2013 … It is the 35th of 73 races on the 2012-13 World Cup calendar. … The 17th of the men’s 36 race schedule and the fifth of eight GS’s. … It is the 51st Cup race hosted by Adelboden, the 41st GS. … Adelboden hosted a Cup race in the inaugural
It is the 15th career World Cup win for Ted Ligety. … all in GS. … He is fifth all-time among US skiers. … He matches Alberto Tomba for fifth all-time (both genders) for GS wins. … It is the 253rd US Cup win. … It is his fourth win of the season to lead the US team. … It is his first career win at Adelboden, though he did place second – in slalom – in 2006.
It is a career best finish for Fritz Dopfer and this third career World Cup podium. … his second in GS. …It is his eighth score of the season.
It is the 18th career World Cup podium result for Felix Neureuther. … but his first in GS. … It is his fourth podium of the season. … His best previous GS result had been fourth scored at Val d’Isere earlier this season (Dec. 9).
Robby Kelley scores his first World Cup points in 23rd. … It was his sixth World Cup start, all coming this season.
Marcel Hirscher (16th in race) holds the lead of the World Cup overall standings 755-729 over Aksel Lund Svindal (sixth in race). … Ligety is third overall with 652pts. … Erik Guay (did not race) leads the Canadians in 18th place with 189pts. … Ligety leads the Giant Slalom standings 460-335 pver Hirscher. … Manfred Moelgg (fourth in race) is third with 212pts. … Jean-Philippe Roy is top Canadian in 38th with 14pts. … Austrian leads the men’s Nations Cup 2765-1981 over Italy. … France is third with 1505. … The US is fifth with 1071pts and Canada eighth with 434pts.
FIS World Cup
Men’s Giant Slalom
Jan. 12, 2013
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|6||12||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:15.47||1:15.06||2:30.53||11.13|
|17||54||193967||MUFFAT JEANDET Victor||1989||FRA||1:17.15||1:14.58||2:31.73||18.32|
|19||28||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:16.66||1:15.40||2:32.06||20.29|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|63||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|29||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA|
|Did not finish 2nd run|
|Did not finish 1st run||64||380290||SAMSAL Dalibor||1985||CRO|
|47||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|38||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA|
|26||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR|