Win Some, Lose Some
Adelboden produces a broken streak, a rare tie and an overall
lead for Kostelic BY HANK MCKEE PHOTOS BY GEPA
It was never in Ted Ligety’s plan to win ALL the giant
slaloms this season. He wanted to retain that World Cup
title, yes. He hoped to finally get off to a fast start, yes. But
taking them all was not high on the priority list.
If asked before the season which GS races he might tar-
get to win, Adelboden on Jan. 8 might have made the list
because of its tradition, but he would not have pinned his
hopes on it. In 40 chances, no American has ever won
Phil Mahre came close a couple of times and finished
second to Ingemar Stenmark in 1982. Bode Miller nearly
got there, too, finishing second behind Massimiliano
Blardone in 2005. Billy Kidd got fourth in the race in 1968,
and Greg Jones, Mahre and Erik Schlopy all placed as
high as fifth. But the Star-Spangled Banner has never
waved above an Adelboden GS podium.
Though he owns Kranjska Gora (three wins), Ligety’s
best result in GS at Adelboden was ninth, scored in 2009.
He was also coming in off a vicious road trip from Zagreb,
an 11-hour journey in good conditions, more than a third
of the available time. No, Adelboden did not top Ligety’s
With the first three GS wins in his pocket, he was still
considered the favorite to win January’s only scheduled
GS. In preparation, journalists were scrambling to find
others who had won four consecutive giant slaloms. The
list was short: Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark and
Alberto Tomba — World Cup royalty.
“It really sucked,” said
Ted Ligety of his GS run.