Adelboden imported workers from
Wengen to help with snow removal.
GS wins in his pocket, he has as many as Maier,
Thoeni and Zurbriggen; and more than Giradrelli
or Killy. And this had all the makings of a veteran’s
Raich’s smooth second run proved the fastest of
any. The demons of his injury dismissed, he was all
smiles in the finish as a crowd of 30,000 cheered
and bobbed their mostly hooded heads.
“My joy is incredibly large,” he said, acknowledging
it helped that “I have good memories of this hill.”
Buoyed in his own way by having won on his hill at
Alta Badia, Blardone, too, put in a gallant effort. He
confidently powered through slop and carved on ice
but fell just shy (0.02) of knocking Raich out of the
Cyprien Richard tried in vain to attack but got so
tossed about, it was amazing he linked enough re-
coveries to finish at all. He ended up fifth, the best
of four French racers to make the top 10.
Ligety, as always, was prepared to take the neces-
“Ted was skiing good enough to win,” said Rearick.
“Then he got shook by a bump right by the road and
he had to bring direction right there, but his body
was going the other way. He just couldn’t put the
hammer down after that.”
Hirscher had his pole ripped out of his hand in the
first run and knew he was in a dogfight for the win.
He lost hundredths to Raich’s leading time at ev-
ery interval timer, ripped down the final pitch and
looked about to see who had won. It was, he said
“the toughest giant slalom on my career.”
Though he did not know for several long seconds,
he had won by 0.08 over a childhood idol, Raich.
“I caught a few turns not so good,” Hirscher told Aus-
trian reporters. “I felt rather bad. My heart slipped. ...
Honestly, at the moment everything is working very,
very well. I have great joy in skiing.”
After two wins and a second to start the GS portion
of the tour, Ligety has now finished fourth in two
straight contests. The only other North American to
finish was Tim Jitloff in 20th.
The GS season is now half over with the next on
the schedule in a month and a half at Bansko on
There was, however, a slalom still to contend with
on the Adelboden race hill.
Slalom, Jan. 8
Somehow, the racing conditions were worse than
they had been for the GS. The gray sky was still
spitting wet flakes of snow and thick rain, but now
in the second run particularly, the mist turned to
a fog that crept up the course, leaving 30,000 in
the stands looking at ghostly shadows working
through the gates.
Cristian Deville and Hirscher tied for the best time
in the first run with Mario Matt 0.07 back in third
(along with German Felix Neureuther before a late
DQ for a high-on-course straddle) and Ivica Kostelic
0.26 out in fourth. Missillier, again, was in border-
line contention 0.88 back with the rest more than a
second out. American Nolan Kasper was ninth with
1.31 to make up, and Will Brandenburg sat 17th
ahead of Canada’s Mike Janyk and his own team’s
Ted Ligety. Brad Spence was 27th.
Spence would tweet after race: “What I learned to-
day: never give up. I thought after I fell & skied a
hairpin backwards, that would be it for my day. But
i ended up 17th!”
Part of his success was due the second run DNFs
of seven racers, including Ligety.