LIgety 13th in Levi slalom; Miller a DNF in second run
November 15, 2009 —
LEVI, Finland - Olympic combined champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) led the U.S. Ski Team in 18th followed directly by Jimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) in the first slalom of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season.
Austrian Reinfried Herbst edged Croation Ivica Kostelic and reigning World Cup slalom champion Jean-Baptiste Grange for the sixth slalom victory of his career. Levi also marked the return of Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) to World Cup racing, yet he wasn't able to finish the second run after getting hit in the face with a gate.
Universal Sports will broadcast the race at 10 a.m. ET on its 24 hour TV network and will have on-demand streaming available at www.UniversalSports.com.
Ligety was seventh after the first run and leading by .37 at the first split of the second run before running into trouble on the steeps. The same tricky section slowed first run leader Andre Myhrer of Sweden, who dropped to 11th.
"Half of the top 30 had second run trouble at the top of the steeps and Ted was one of those guys," said Men's Technical Head Coach Rudi Soulard. "They were coming over the pitch with speed, then getting kicked out and ending up below the next gate. From there it was tough to regain rhythm."
Miller was fast through the first series of the second run before getting slammed across the nose, blurring his vision for a few seconds and forcing him to stop.
"His nose was bleeding pretty badly and he has a fat lip, but he's OK," said Soulard. "His skiing is not where he needs to be yet, but he was able to get a second run and he's doing all the right things to get there."
After starting mid pack in the first run, Cochran arced to 26th, then hopped seven more places to pick up a few World Cup points, and more importantly, improve his starting position in slalom.
"Jimmy did a good job. He started 46 and skied to 19th. The goal for him was to make the top 30, but now with this result, he's probably back in the top 30 start list for slalom," said Soulard.
Young gun Nolan Kasper (Warren, VT) and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) failed to make the second run as Kasper lost his rhythm down the pitch and Jitloff straddled near the top of the first run.
"Nolan skied pretty well for his first World Cup start. He had the same problems as all the other guys on the steep, but did well for his first big race. And Jit was flying in the first run, but straddled. That's slalom and he wasn't holding back, that's the important part," said Soulard.
The U.S. technical Team now returns to Colorado to prepare for the Audi Birds of Prey Race week set for Dec. 4-6 in Beaver Creek, CO. It will be the lone men's World Cup stop in America prior to the Olympics.
2009 AUDI FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Levi, Finland – Nov. 15, 2009
1. Reinfried Herbst, Austria, 1:49.79
2. Ivica Kostelic, Croatia, 1:50.07
3. Jean-Baptiste Grange, France, 1:50.32
4. Matias Hargin, Sweden, 1:50.34
5. Julien Lizeroux, France, 1:50.70
18. Ted Ligety, Park City, UT, 1:51.88
19. Jimmy Cochran, Keene, NH, 1:52.05
Did not finish second run
Bode Miller, Franconia, NH
Did not qualify for a second run
Nolan Kasper, Warren, VT
Did not finish first run
Tim Jitloff, Reno, NV
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