avoid a crash. He erred on the side of caution, finishing 15th, and Guay skipped
into the finish arena with skis raised in triumph. Canada had claimed its first
World Cup title in 28 years.
There were two more important results in the race. Janka skied conservatively into 11th place and gave up ground to the sixth finishing Raich for the overall
in a race the pundits said should have been in his favor. The other result, the
slowest in memory, was executed by retiring Marco Buechel. Skiing in a sport
coat, tie and shorts and stopping frequently to shake hands with course workers and coaches, Buechel made his way down the hill to wild applause.
World Cup Finals Giant Slalom, March 12
The GS contest started with more dramatics than it ended with. Ted Ligety
was in a battle with Marcel Hirscher and Max Blardone, and his lead was a
significant but hardly comforting 40 points. He took it to them in the first
run as the third man out of the start house, putting down a run he wished
had been better but that was plenty fast enough. Then Hirscher left the start
too early and was disqualified ending his season and Blardone uncharacter-
istically got pushed off course into the softer snow and was lucky to finish at
all, five seconds off the next worst time and nine seconds off the leaders.
Blardone would win the second run with a most impressive run. Ligety lim-
ited his risks and cruised into a third place tie for the day and his second World
Cup GS title. Having been shut out at the Olympics, he was ready for the vindi-
cation and pointed out, at 25, he intends to be around a while.
“It is awesome to have that consistency over so many years,” he said. “To be
the best this year and two years ago. Hopefully I can build on this and maybe
challenge for an overall title in the future.”
Winning the race was Captain Calm, Carlo Janka, the Olympic gold medal-
ist in the discipline. With Raich finishing eighth, the cake was out of the oven