We are growing to expect this, when Mr. GS puts his skis on rails high above the gate and carves seamless turn, after turn, after turn. Ted Ligety is simply the most solid GS skier in the world right now. After two races, he owns an average winning margin of 2.25 seconds.
Ligety had been the first racer out of the start in the first run and quickly blew through the early morning sun (9:45am start) and threw down the gauntlet for the rest to contemplate. In the afternoon heat, on a day that reminded more of a March competition than early December, he was even more incredible. Pressure put on by a pair of Italians (Davide Simoncelli finished third on the day and Manfred Moelgg fourth) and heightened when Marcel Hirscher recorded a strong finishing leg to take the lead.
Apparently, Ligety eats pressure for breakfast. For although he says he feels some anxiety before he skis GS, he showed no nerves, instead exuding supreme confidence as he carved up the Birds of Prey course for his second GS win in two GS starts this season.
“He is at another level,” said Simoncelli.
“At the moment he is unbeatable. I think it means months, maybe years,” said Hirscher.
Ligety says he expects the others to catch up much quicker than that.
Right now, however, the consensus is, as Hirscher said: “Ted is Mr GS and why not? He is the best GS skier right now.”
The scary thing is Ligety says there’s room for improvement.
“It’s very rare in ski racing to have close to a perfect run. I didn’t make big mistakes, I had my skis right in the fall line, but I didn’t think I was perfect. I don’t think anybody felt that good.”
Perhaps, but Mr. GS’s form always seems just about perfect no matter what angle the image is captured from. We asked Jonathan Selko a FIS Journalism Award winner, how many shots he has taken of Ligety when his form wasn’t spot on. The reply: “none.”
MORE TO COME
by Hank McKee
Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 2, 2012
1 Ligety, Head/Head/Head
2 Hirscher, Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
3 Simoncelli, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
4 Moelgg, Fischer/Fischer/Fischer
5 Pinturault, Salomon/Salomon/Salomon
6 Svindal, Head/Head/Head
7 Jansrud, Head/Head/Head
7 Dopfer, Nordica/Nordica/Marker
9 Blardone, Dynastar/Lange/Look
10 Noesig, Fischer/Lange/unknown
Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom, Beaver Creek, Colo., Dec. 2, 2012. … It is the 13th of 74 races on the 2012-13 World Cup schedule. … The seventh of 36 men’s races and the second of eight men’s GS’s. … It is the 50th World Cup race conducted at Beaver Creek. … the 11th GS.
It is the 13th career World Cup win for Ted Ligety. … All in GS and extending his US record. … It is the third time he has won a Cup GS at Beaver Creek. … It is his second win of the season both of them coming in the two GS’s held to date.
It is the 30th career World Cup podium placing for Marcel Hirscher. … his 13th in GS. … He has been on the podium in his last five completed races at Beaver Creek. … It is his third podium of the season.
It is the eighth World Cup podium result for Davide Simoncelli. … all coming in GS. … It is his first podium since March 12, 2010.
It is the 12th career World Cup scoring result for Tommy Ford. … his third best of four scoring finishes at Beaver Creek. … It is the 19th Cup scoring result for Tim Jitloff. … his fourth best of four at Beaver Creek.
Aksel Lund Svindal (sixth in race) leads the World Cup overall standings 400-320 over Ted Ligety. … Hirscher is third at 220. … Ligety leads the GS standings 200-140 over Hirscher and Moelgg in third with 130pts.
Beaver Creek (USA)
FIS World Cup
Men’s Giant Slalom
Dec. 2, 2012
|Rank||Bib||FIS Code||Name||Year||Nation||Run 1||Run 2||Total Time||FIS Points|
|6||12||421328||SVINDAL Aksel Lund||1982||NOR||1:16.04||1:12.30||2:28.34||16.81|
|20||27||191746||DE TESSIERES Gauthier||1981||FRA||1:17.18||1:12.43||2:29.61||24.57|
|21||43||421669||HAUGEN Leif Kristian||1987||NOR||1:16.44||1:13.38||2:29.82||25.86|
|27||26||534959||JITLOFF Tim||1985||USA||class="print0" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #ffffff; vertical-align: top;" align="right"> 1:16.57||1:14.13||2:30.70||31.24|
|Did not qualify for 2nd run|
|69||60236||VAN DEN BROECKE Dries||1995||BEL|
|48||150644||lass="print0" style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 9px; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss, SunSans-Regular; background-color: #ffffff; vertical-align: top;">KRYZL Krystof||1986||CZE|
|25 d>||420148||KARLSEN Truls Ove||1975||NOR|
|Did not finish 1st run|
|66||30149||SIMARI BIRKNER Cristian Javier||1980||ARG|
|41||192504||MERMILLOD BLONDIN Thomas||1984||FRA|
|35||990116||DE ALIPRANDINI Luca||1990||ITA|