Ligety posts career-best second in super-G
VAL d’ISERE, France – Ted Ligety paced the U.S. Ski Team in Val d’Isere on Saturday morning with a second-place finish, the best of his career in a super-G.
Ligety slid hard on his hip, but recovered for 2nd in Val d’Isere (Francis Bompard/Getty Images)
“He’s a phenomenal technical skier, and he brought it out today in a very tough race, one of the toughest races I’ve ever seen,” said Men’s Alpine Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick.
Indeed, Ligety’s run wasn’t mistake-free, but the rest of the field endured worse struggles.
“It never felt good the entire way down the course, but to be in second place now is pretty good,” Ligety said. “It was just a struggle today, nobody was gonna feel good, so I was able to use my GS skills and have a decent-enough run.”
Ligety’s previous high was a seventh-place finish at Beaver Creek in December 2008.
Amazingly, the giant slalom specialist wasn’t even pleased after laying down a 1:21.06 that bested the first 16 skiers.
“That’s not gonna hold up,” Ligety said at the finish.
He was right, Austria’s Michael Walchhofer took a lead nobody could refuse with a 1:20.78.
Still, Ligety said he was pleased to get on the podium after a run that saw his hip brush with the unpacked powder on the side of the course.
“My super G’s been going really well, and especially a hill like this that’s steep, I feel like I have a good chance,” he said.
The 2005 super G world champion, Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) fought into a tie for ninth with Swiss Didier Cuche, 1.67 off Walchhofer’s pace.
“Bode skied solid,” Rearick said. “He hasn’t taken many runs on the super G skis. I think this was his fifth run on the super G skis since he’s come back.”
A day removed from a fifth place in the super combined, the two-time World Cup overall champion was the 24th skier out on a choppy course for a ninth-place finish.
“For him to come down and be in the top 10 is a good day, solid skiing, but he’s got more speed than that, and we’ll look forward to getting that speed out of him here,” Rearick said.
Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley, CA), Jeremy Transue (Hunter, NY), Erik Fisher (Middleton, ID), Jake Zamansky (Aspen, CO), Tommy Ford (Bend, OR), and Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) did not finish for the U.S.
“You just had to fight your way down, and you were lucky if you made it to the finish line,” said Ligety, who added that he expected to be two seconds behind after his career-best run.
Switzerland’s Carlo Janko maintained his overall lead in the standings despite failing to finish, while Austria’s Benjamin Raich inched closer to the leader with fifth place and 45 points.
Ligety will get a chance to further improve his performance at Val d’Isere in Sunday’s giant slalom, a discipline for which he captured the World Cup title in 2008.
Fans can watch live at http://www.universalsports.com.
2010 AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Val D’Isere, France
Dec. 12, 2009
1. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 1:20.78
2. Ted Ligety, Park City, Utah, 1:21.06
3. Werner Heel, Italy, 1:21.53
4. Patrick Staudacher, Italy, 1:21.92
5. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:21.95
9. Bode Miller, Franconia, NH, 1:22.45
DNF: Marco Sullivan (Squaw Valley); Jeremy Transue (Hunter, NY); Erik Fisher (Middleton, Idaho); Jake Zamansky (Aspen, Colo.); Tommy Ford (Bend, Ore.); Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY)
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