Adelboden Details, 07-01-2012
Fast-rising Austrian star Marcel Hirscher claimed victory on the legendary Chuenisbaergli slope at Adelboden, his second giant slalom win of the season following his victory in the second race of the season at Beaver Creek.
Hirscher had been in pole position following the fastest first run, but had to hold his nerve to see off a storming second run by fellow countryman Benjamin Raich, the veteran proving that his comeback from the previous year's serious injury was nearly complete with the fastest second run of the day, his 2nd run time of 1 minute 19.80 was nearly a second faster than Hirscher, but the youngster had an extra 0.08 seconds in the locker from the 1st run.
It would have been a remarkable victory for Raich but probably one that we shouldn't have been surprised at, seeing as though he has a fantastic record at Adelboden, having won the GS here 3 times between 2006 and 2009.
Massimiliano Blardone completed the podium, a further 0.20 seconds behind Raich following two fine runs.
Championship leader Ted Ligety didn't have his best day at the office considering his high standards but still came in fourth, missing out on a podium by just four hundredths of a second, whilst there was then quite a big gap back to
French racer Cyprien Richard in fifth.
Over half a meter of snow had fallen in Adelboden on the days leading up to the race, and course workers had worked their socks off to clear the snow, even the Swiss army had been brought in to help out, yet still the Swiss supporters turned up in their tens of thousands for the most famous giant slalom on the circuit. Conditions were still testing, and affected some of the times in the second run, but given the amount of snow that had fallen the Chuenisbaergli slope was in a remarkable condition.
Alta Badia Details, 18-12-2011
Massimiliano Blardone took the honours at the latest Giant Slalom race at Alta Badia, the Italian winning the
event on home snow for the third time in his career.
Blardone was in 6th position after the first run with a time of 1 minute 29.07, but his amazing 2nd run of 1 minute 17.42
saw him head the field and none of the remaining 5 skiers on the 2nd run could get near him.
Blardone headed the podium ahead of Austrian duo Hannes Reichelt and Philipp Schoerghofer, who he was
0.35 seconds and 0.57 seconds faster than respectively.
American racer Ted Ligety, the big pre-race favourite and giant slalom leader going into the event, led after the first run with a
fantastic time of 1:27.96 but he was pushed off the podium as Blardone, Reichelt and Schoerghofer all produced storming second runs.
Marcel Hirscher's fifth place made it a great day for the Austrians and meant the Austrian remained in 2nd place in the GS standings,
65 points behind leader Ligety, whilst Schoerghofer moved up to 3rd in the standings.
Beaver Creek Details, 06-12-2011
Beaver Creek held a 2nd giant slalom in the space of 3 days to replace the one due
in Val d'Isere that was cancelled because of a lack of snow (coincidentally by the time of
the race, the French resort had received a good dump of snow - enough to hold the race!).
Anyway, Ted Ligety gained some revenge over Marcel Hirscher as the two swapped podium places
for the 2nd race, with Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud in 3rd, whilst Alexis Pinturault of France,
Hannes Reichelt of Austria, Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, and Fritz Dofer of Germany all
continued their decent start to the season by claiming positions 4 to 7, in that order.
As with the previous giant slalom race, there were no British skiers competing.
Beaver Creek Details, 04-12-2011
A fine 2nd run from Austrian Marcel Hirscher saw him leapfrog giant slalom leader
Ted Ligety, and put him 2nd in the standings after two races, behind the American.
Ligety had led after the first run with a time of 1 minute 18.53, with Hirscher
0.21 seconds behind him, so given Ligety's form it was a real surprise to see
Hirscher turn the tables, with his 2nd run of 1 minute 19.71 ending up
0.37 seconds faster. German skier Fritz Dopfer had two great runs to complete
the podium places, whilst Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud and Marcus Sandell of Finland
completed the top 5. There were no British skiers competing in the race.
Solden Race Details, 23-10-2011
Nearly 15,000 fans turned up for the 2011-12 FIS season curtain-raiser in fantastic race conditions up on the Rettenbach Glacier.
Two near-perfect runs saw Ted Ligety start off where he finished last season - on the top of the podium. And with Lindsey Vonn taking the women's race on the day before it was a great start to the season for the American team.
With Solden's notoriously steep section providing lots of problems with it's ice and bumps it made for an interesting race and
French youngster Alexis Pinturault provided the shock of the day when he claimed 2nd place, just 0.29 behind the American.
The noisy locals were given something to shout about as Austrian Philipp Schoerghofe took the final spot on the podium, just over half
a second behind 'Ted the Shred'.
Last season's overall champion Ivica Kostelic had a poor first run that left him in 18th place but stormed back with the fastest 2nd run to hurtle up the leaderboard into 5th place. All in all a great start to the season at Solden and great to see the legendary Benni Raich back, albeit down in 19th place.