Austria’s Marcel Hirscher wins first World Cup slalom of season, Ligety 25th, Bode DNF

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on December 12, 2010 10:31 am

VAL D’ISERE, France – Austria’s Marcel Hirscher nailed his second run to take the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup slalom victory of his career Sunday in the French Alps. American’s Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA) and Ted Ligety (pictured right) were in the top 15 after producing solid opening runs, but fell victim to the steep and tight Face de Bellvarde pitch to straddle gates in the second run. Ligety would end the day in 25th.

Universal Sports will carry streaming of the race online and a same-day broadcast on its 24-hour TV network.

Olympian Brandenburg led the U.S. charge in the first run, laying down the 12th fastest time, 1.16 off first run leader Manfred Moelgg of Italy. Teammate and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ligety finished two spots behind Brandenburg tied with Canada’s Brad Spence in 14th. Hirscher took the win with Austrian teammate Benjamin Raich in second and France’s Steve Missillier in third.

“It wasn’t easy at all. First course was tough, it took a lot of the top guys down,” said Head Coach Sasha Rearick. “But, Ted and Willy skied tactically smart. I’m very pleased with their skiing.”

Among the 23 athletes who didn’t finish the first run were Jean-Baptiste Grange of France, who won the opening World Cup slalom, along with Americans Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Will Gregorak (Longmont, CO). Dave Chodounsky (Crested Butte, MT), barely missed the flip in 36th, and Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) did not qualify for a second run.

Ligety, who is coming off of two consecutive giant slalom wins, showed determination when he straddled on the steeps and began to hike. Bent over with his hands on his legs, Ligety took a moment to catch his breath before jumping back in the course after a tiring two gate hike while the crowd cheered him on to the finish.

Coming off a knee injury after a downhill training crash in Beaver Creek, CO, Brandenburg continued to show promise in slalom after solid opening results in both Levi and Val d’Isere. He looked strong as he kicked out of the gate attacking the course and was .22 off the leader in the second interval before straddling a hairpin to end his run short.

“I was really pleased with Willy’s skiing, he was right in there,” said Rearick. “He was charging second run and unfortunately straddled. That’s how it goes.”

The men’s U.S. Alpine Ski Team will head to their official European training base, Trentino-Paganella, Italy in preparation for the upcoming races in Val Gardena and Alta Badia, Italy Dec. 17-19. The Team has called Trentino-Paganella its European base for five years. The Italian province provides on-snow training at Paganella as well as lodging and off-snow training facilities.

Audi FIS Alpine World Cup
Val d’Isere, France – December 12, 2010

1. Marcel Hirscher, Austria, 1:44.70
2. Benjamin Raich, Austria, 1:45.01
3. Steve Missillier, France, 1:45.26
4. Silvan Zurbriggen, Switzerland, 1:45.45
5. Julien Cousineau, Canada, 1:45.83
25. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 2:21.14
DNQ: Dave Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO), Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT),
DNF: Will Brandenburg (Spokane, WA), Will Gregorak (Longmont, CO), Bode Miller (Franconia, NH)

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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