The weather tried its best to stop Ted Ligety in recording another win in Soelden for the HEAD World Cup Rebels but in the end the winning margin was the largest in over thirty years of racing, 2.75seconds! After the race had started in fog, then cleared up to allow later starters the opportunity to post faster times, Ligety was just second after the first run, a mere four hundredths off the lead. All this changed on the second run as Ligety gave the rest of the field a lesson in skiing soft, new snow conditions on the new skis.
“I did not go out to win by this much, but these things can happen when you are skiing well,” explained Ligety after the race. Despite having hooked a gate that saw him crash out on the second run, Aksel Lund Svindal was glad that Ligety had won as he had had the worst of the conditions on the first run and this was justification for the hard work he has put in over the summer in the gym.
“I was still more tired than I have ever been at the bottom of this hill but this shows how much more strength you need for the new skis,” explained Ligety. “It was so crazy and I surprised myself. I probably took more risks than I should of, it was so gnarly and bumpy in tough light so I was lucky to come away with how I was doing it.”
Gauthier de Tessieres made it into seventh place from a start number of 27: “It was a very tough race, we needed so much confidence to do this race. It was a huge battle against the hill and I am very happy that I finished in seventh place. There is still a big step to be like Ted so we have to work harder with the new skis. We make very good skis so we are good now,” he explained.
Marcel Mathis added to the top fifteen HEAD finishers with twelfth place in the first race with his father preparing his skis.
These were hard conditions for all the racers but Ligety gave the rest of the world something to aspire to – this was the new season off and running with a HEAD victory! A huge HEAD victory.
1. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
2. Manfred Moelgg (ITA)
3. Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
7. Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
12. Marcel Mathis (AUT) HEAD
15. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
22. Dustin Cook (CAN) HEAD