Ted Ligety won the final race before the Winter Olympic Games start by over one and a half seconds. With Marcel Hirscher and Alexis Pinturault joining the HEAD World Cup Rebel on the podium, Ligety had definitely pushed it to the limit to beat the rest of the field by so much.
Asked how he managed tow in by so much, Ligety reflected and then said: “tough to say, I go a little rounder,” and then added “Little tiny mistakes cost you a tonne of time on this type of snow.”
After the downhill had been cancelled, there was pressure on the organisers to make the Giant Slalom happen. Fog and more snow overnight had many worried for the race but Ligety admitted to being ready when he looked out of the window at the hill first thing in the morning.
“It was a tough fight, it is not good not being able to see but that is how it goes,” Ligety explained before admitting: “it is nice to get back to the speed I can be at.”
With the hill “gnarly and bumpy” Ligety was happy with the conditions: “It is nice to have a race like this for once,” he explained after the race. Having grown up skiing doing the bumps and using all the terrain on the hills in Park City, this was something he felt that helped him to win this race.
For Kjetil Jansrud, he felt that he was getting back to form and was “glad to be back in the World Cup points.” For a while Jansrud stood in the leaders enclosure after having seen the green light when he came through the finish.
With the second run starting, then holding, then starting again before the final fifteen racers fought it out. The climax of the race came with Ligety extending his lead. There was one moment at the top of the course where Ligety caught his hand in the gate and despite twisting round little time was lost before he skied on in his majestic way.
Such is the respect for Ligety from his fellow racers Marcel Hirscher had to applaud at the margin of victory after the race. This was Ligety’s fourth win on the World Cup this season.
1. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA)
13. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
16. Marcel Mathis (AUT) HEAD
21. Dominik Schwaiger (GER) HEAD
22. Matthias Mayer (AUT) HEAD