Ted Ligety showed the rest of the field how to ski the extremely icy Gran Risa slope in Alta Badia. Although he did not have it all his own way as Frenchman Cyprien Richard lead after the first run, Ligety used all his strength and power to attack the second run and pile the pressure on the Frenchman. This tactic paid dividends as Richard made a mistake in the final third and this cost him dear. With three wins from the three races so far in the Men’s Giant Slalom World Cup, Ted Ligety and his HEAD skis are clear leaders in the field.
Ligety laid down the mark on the first run when he crossed the finish line with a massive lead of approaching one and a half seconds. While Aksel Lund Svindal cut this back, Cyprien Richard stole a march on the HEAD skiers to post the fastest first run time. When it came to the shoot out on the second run, with five to go Didier Cuche grabbed the lead from Ondrej Bank with a powerful and determined run. Two runners later and it was Ligety grabbing the lead from Fanara who had taken it from Cuche. Ligety made a few small mistakes on the icy piste yet he carried his speed and kept fighting. By the time he crossed the line he was ahead comfortably but would it be enough?
Richard attacked and looked like he was heading for the win but Ligety’s never say die attitude saw him have the win. This win matched the three in a row that Hermann Maier scored in 2001 though that was at the tail end of the season and also Mike von Gruenigen at the start of the 1995 season.
This was a race for the hardened racer. Racers needed to be strong and confident to master the steep sections of the slope with exact precision to carry the speed. The Ligety and HEAD combination is unbeaten so far this season in the Giant Slalom, this was something that Ligety also commented on after the race.
For Ligety though this was a “dream come true” as he described winning here as “unbelievable.” With three wins in a row at the start of the season, this is what legends are made of! Asked how it felt, Ligety could only say “Today is awesome, it is something else!”
1. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
2. Cyprien Richard (FRA)
3. Thomas Fanara (FRA)
4. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
6 Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
8 Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
15 Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
17 Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
25 Truls Ove Karlsen (NOR) HEAD