Alpine

Ligety Slalom Hope Dashed by Straddle

by
USSA
2014-12-14 09:10
 

ARE, Sweden (Dec. 14, 2014)—Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) had a beautiful first run in Sunday's Audi FIS World Cup slalom, but straddled a gate in the second and skied out. NCAA slalom champion David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) took the only American World Cup points of the day, finishing 22nd in Are.

Conditions were perfect on the hill—cold and injected—and the course was rhythmic and fast. After finishing third with a small mistake on his first run, Ligety knew he needed an aggressive second run to keep up with Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who is aiming to be only the sixth skier to win the men’s slalom title at least three times. Ligety held the lead on the second run, but got late coming into the finish, before straddling and skiing out on the bottom. Noticeably frustrated, this would have been Ligety’s first podium in slalom since January 2008 in Wengen, Switzerland, where he finished third. He has never won a World Cup slalom.

Hirscher, who also won Saturday’s giant slalom, took the victory by just a tenth. Felix Neureuther of Germany finished second and 20-year-old Alexander Khoroshilov of Russia third.

Ligety had not raced slalom since his left wrist carpal dislocation three weeks ago. He trained briefly on Saturday, but the wrist didn’t seem to bother him.

Chodounsky sat in 20th after first run—only 1.59 seconds back after a small bobble the first run. A similar mistake left him in 22nd overall, but he still scored World Cup points. Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA), Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) and Mark Engel (Truckee, CA) did not qualify for the second run.

The men look forward to skiing in the Italian Alps next week for the Alta Badia giant slalom on Sunday—a classic race and a chance for a Ligety/Hirscher rematch. The speed team will be in action in Val Gardena with a downhill and super G - where Steven Nyman has won twice.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ted Ligety remained third in the overall Audi FIS Ski World Cup despite not finishing Sunday's slalom in Are.
  • Ligety, who was 18th in the slalom opener in Levi, hadn't been on a World Cup slalom podium since 2008.
  • Next Sunday's matchup in Alta Badia will find Ligety seeking to avenge his third place finish behind Marcel Hirscher from a year ago. Ligety took the win in 2012.

QUOTES
Sasha Rearick, Men’s Head Coach
Ted was charging and having a good run. Unfortunately, when you are going for it "full throttle" there is a risk of straddle, especially when the course is fast and snow grippy, due to the cold inversion. Ted was doing what he needed to do to step on the podium today. I am stoked that he was sending it with confidence.

It was great to see Ted on the podium yesterday, securing another 80 points towards the GS globe. We had a tough travel here and I was really impressed with the guys’ attitudes with moving the race up a day, missing flights and coming to a different place. Unfortunately, the results didn’t come in. I think there’s a lot we can learn from this experience.

We’re looking forward to having Ted stay here and train a couple days here on these steeps. This way, he can get his balance in that situation and gain the confidence to really send it on the steeper parts.

RESULTS
Official Results

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