Mathis takes third as Cuche bows out in style
With his second podium in his twelfth World Cup race, the stock of twenty year old HEAD World Cup Rebel, Marcel Mathis has grown even further. With so much depending on the race, Mathis kept his cool and delivered when it mattered. With Ted Ligety looking to overhaul the lead of Marcel Hirscher in the race for the Giant Slalom Globe and Hirscher keeping one eye on the Overall, the permutations coming into the race were numerous. Ligety caught an edge on the first run when it looked like he was heading for the first run lead after being almost a second ahead of his main rival. Hirscher went on to win the race and thus take the Giant Slalom Globe.
Marcel Mathis is a rising star. The man comes from a ski racing family and has the benefit of his father being the serviceman for Bode Miller. “Through my father I have learned more,” he admitted, “I have learned how to use my skis and stay strong in certain situations,” he continued. Racing in front of the Austrian crowd was a big thrill for him and he used this to his advantage as he pulled in an immense second run that saw him open up a huge lead from starting with the ninth best first run time.
Racer after racer failed to dislodge him from the leaders enclosure and it took a super human effort from Hirscher to grab the lead and then Reichelt split the two. Mathis had produced a similar performance in the Giant Slalom in Bansko earlier in the season to again place third.
The second run had started with the final curtain being drawn on Didier Cuche’s career as he raced the run in 1950’s clothing and skis. Cuche is one of the most respected and admired racer’s of his time and this was a fitting way for the Great man to bid farewell to the racing side of the sport. The rest of the field paid homage to Cuche by attempting to recreate his trademark ski flip after their run.
It was interesting to see Ted Ligety taking to the second run on next years ski. With the Globe having slipped out of his grasp, Ligety used the chance to race his last Giant Slalom run on next years ski: And who was fastest on the second run? Ted Ligety!
While the farewell to Cuche was the highlight of the day, Mathis is a name to follow for the future.
1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT)
2. Hannes Reichelt (AUT)
3. Marcel Mathis (AUT) HEAD
13. Kjetil Jansrud (NOR) HEAD
14. Truls Ove Karlsen (NOR) HEAD
16. Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) HEAD
25. Ted Ligety (USA) HEAD
26. Didier Cuche (SUI) HEAD