Ted Ligety: World Champion in Giant Slalom
American Ted Ligety put in a performance that was befitting the World Champion as he came from fourth place to win the World Championship in Garmisch. Ligety won the fifth Gold medal for HEAD in these Championships with this race win. With three wins on the World Cup this season already, Ligety was one of the favourites for the title yet it was his good friend and fellow HEAD racer, Aksel Lund Svindal, who was in the lead after the first run.
Having gone number one, Ligety gave way to Svindal who then held on to the lead for the remaining racers. HEAD racers filled three of the top five slots after the first run with Didier Cuche in fifth. The difficult conditions for both runs meant that clean runs were very important.”With the softening snow I knew that I had to take a lot of risks,” explained Ligety after his run from fourth to grab the lead from Cyprien Richard by eight hundredths. Ligety paid tribute to HEAD as he has adapted to the new skis and added that “it is awesome to be winning.”
Going early on the second run after a mistake on the middle of the first run was Bode Miller. When his back is to the wall and with the snow conditions in his favour, Miller put in a classic Miller attacking charge. Miller was fast and smooth but knew that he had too much ground to make up from 27th after the first run. Yet following racers failed to better his combined time and he stayed in the leader’s box until Romed Baumann took the lead.
Kjetil Jansrud had been disappointed with his first run that had placed him ninth yet he too put in a performance that was worthy of his ability and held the lead until Richard edged him out. The small matter of being able to stay on the podium was then Kjetil’s focus. Didier Cuche attacked the course as hard as he could but his broken hand suffered in the team event was enough to slow him down just enough to drop him down the leaderboard.
While Ligety took the lead with a tactically flawless run, there were still three other racers to attack the Kandahar course. Kostelic was at odds with his normal form; Schoerghofer dropped behind Richard to push Kjetil Jansrud off the podium and then came Svindal. Which of the HEAD racers would take the Gold? For Aksel Lund Svindal the small mistakes encroached on his run and by the bottom he had dropped to forth. While he congratulated Ligety, the American had now captured what he came for: The World Championship in Giant Slalom.
“I knew I had to trust my skiing and go hard,” explained Ligety. “Being on the HEAD skis certainly helped me today,” he added. Ligety paid tribute to the support and the detailed course report that Miller had given him after his own run.
“It is a lot tougher being a big favourite. In ski racing it is not always a guarantee to success to be the favourite so it is pretty gratifying.”
This is the tenth medal won by HEAD racers and fifth GOLD medal.
World Champion: Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
Silver Medal: Cyprien Richard
Bronze: Philip Schoerghofer
4th Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
5th Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
8th Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD
9th Gauthier de Tessieres (FRA) HEAD
12th Bode Miller (USA) HEAD
25th Truls Ove Karlssen (NOR) HEAD