Ted Ligety, three-time World Cup champion from Park City, Utah, has dropped from the top of the World Cup standings in giant slalom for the first time this season. Saturday afternoon in Bansko, Bulgaria, Ligety stumbled and, in a split second, missed a gate, causing it to whip back and cut his face. It was a huge turn of events dropping him from his first place position to the 27th spot in his second run of the day.
“Ted was going extremely hard and I think at gate five or six hit the groove from the earlier guys and just went on his side and had to hike around the gate,” said Mike Day, Technical Head Coach.
Never one to give up, Ligety immediately hiked back uphill to navigate the gate and stay in the race. The whole incidents cost him seven seconds. And potentially the World Cup. With three giant slalom races left in the season, only time will tell.
Austrian Marcel Hirscher, leading by a whopping 81 points, succeeded Ligety at the top.
Three other Americans made their mark on the hill as well. Tommy Ford of Oregon had a great day on the slopes and finished will a career-best of 12th place. Nevada native, Tim Litloff, ended in 18th, despite recent health issues.
“Tommy skied really well, it was good skiing. He made a pretty good sized mistake in the first run and came back for a career best and then we had Litloff working back into things. He’s been really sick before this race, lost six kilos and hasn’t had that much ski volume. He skied a lot better that expected considering how his health has been,” Day commented.
Bode Miller had a disappointing day in Bulgaria as he crashed on the third-to-last gate on the first run and did not qualify.
“Bode did a few flat spins across the finish line and would have qualified if he didn’t get squashed like that. He said people his age shouldn’t do things like that. He’s going to miss the slalom tomorrow,” Day said.