Olympic and World Champion Ted Ligety overcame difficult snow conditions to take third in the Val d’Isere giant slalom. Austrian Marcel Hirscher, the reigning Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall and GS champ won the day’s race. Stefan Luitz of Germany finished in second.
While Ted was obviously gunning for the top podium spot, today’s finish keeps the skier on track in his quest to overtake Aksel Lund Svindal in the overall point race. Ligety currently holds 402 World Cup points, 38 behind Svindal’s 440.
Ligety talked about the difficult nature of the French course, explaining, “Val d’Isere’ is always tough, it’s not a hill I particularly like. It’s not very user friendly, it’s very steep the whole way. I’m happy to salvage it and to walk away from this hill with a podium when it could easily have been a DNF (did not finish).”
The men’s team now heads to Italy for the Val Gardena downhill race. Ligety will skip the competition in order to train for the upcoming super G and giant slalom in Alta Badia.
Head Coach Sasha Rearick discussed the plan, saying, “Ted is going to skip the downhill in Val Gardena and will train slalom in Italy instead. We’re cashing in some chips with the Italian team who we partnered with to train at the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center at Copper Mountain. They’ve offered us free accommodation and training leading up to Val Gardena and Alta Badia, so we’re going to take advantage of that.”