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Ligety's hits his peak!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Unbelievable come back win for Ligety taking the World Cup GS title on the very last race of the year after trailing all year. And to do it by hundredths of a second on his second run and then tying Hirscher on GS total points and winning the title by more wins over the season.

 

That's on top of Ligety winning the Olympic Gold in GS.  Winning both the Olympic GS title and the World Cup title in the same year.  No doubt one of the best skiers ever.

 

It can’t get much closer than that for a season-long chase. Ted “Shred” Ligety did all he could do to regain the World Cup giant slalom title by winning the final GS of the season in Lenzerheide, Switzerland Saturday (March 15).

 

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post #2 of 12

I concur.  It was one of the most dramatic finishes of all time.  If you think about all the time and effort that these racers put into their careers, to have it come down to the tiebreaker was just insane.  There is a reason why Shred was spotted kissing Neureuther:

 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Style View Post
 

I concur.  It was one of the most dramatic finishes of all time.  If you think about all the time and effort that these racers put into their careers, to have it come down to the tiebreaker was just insane.  There is a reason why Shred was spotted kissing Neureuther:

 

 

A year of skiing comes down to .001 of second in the last run of the last race.

 

I think Felix is feeling a cheated…Ted promised him a couple beers and all he gets is a lousy kiss on the cheek.

post #4 of 12

Don't forget Ligety also got his first podium ever in the downhill finishing tied for second.  Closed the season very well.

post #5 of 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voghan View Post
 

Don't forget Ligety also got his first podium ever in the downhill finishing tied for second.  Closed the season very well.

 

If Ligety can start collecting points in downhill and maintain his No. 1 GS status, he can compete for the overall World Cup.

post #6 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by voghan View Post
 

Don't forget Ligety also got his first podium ever in the downhill finishing tied for second.  Closed the season very well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx View Post
 

 

If Ligety can start collecting points in downhill and maintain his No. 1 GS status, he can compete for the overall World Cup.

 

Sure ... Ligety is competitive in a DH with no airtime or gliding. Lenzerheide is just steep linked turns, hardly a real DH. Really plays to his strengths. Same can be said for the SG, where Pinterault won. Blips on the radar. Both (and Hirscher) need to improve gliding, aerodynamics, and air to be competitive in speed, and will continue to be competitive at places like Lenzerheide and Val d'Isere.

post #7 of 12

^^^^^^^^ What Sammy said!  Don't get carried away by Ted's "DH" result at Lenzerheide. He, himself would be the first to say that's about as far from a true classic DH as anything they ski. As Sammy says, it's all arc to arc. Built for Ted. He needs a LOT of development to become a consistent DHer. Having said that, I think there's a lot of discussion as to whether he's better off essentially giving up on SL, and ramping up both his SG and DH, in an attempt to go after the overall. His SL is not good, despite a lot of effort. Could he score more in SG and DH? That would be very tough sledding with Svindal doing the same. Bet on Hirscher to do a LOT of work over the summer to get his equipment set up better dialed in. If he does, narrows the gap in GS, when Ted's at his best, becomes dominant again in SL, and gets passable at SG, he'd be very tough to beat. My money is on Pinturault to move to right at the top of the game in three events, consistently, and if he chooses to, become a top 15 DHer. Watch the guy ski. Tremendous balance, stance, and touch. I love to watch him ski. 

 

But just "adding" DH is hard. It makes you realize how exceptional Bode has been, as well as somebody like Benny Raich, skiing every event. The time demands alone are incredible in terms of travel, training runs, etc. And, it beats your body up. Svindal is the strongest, and perhaps the fittest guy on the WC. It even beats him up. 

 

Good post Sammy…..


Edited by Muleski - 3/17/14 at 7:02pm
post #8 of 12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Muleski View Post

I think there's a lot of discussion as to whether he's better off essentially giving up on SL, and ramping up both his SG and DH, in an attempt to go after the overall. His SL is not good, despite a lot of effort. 

 

When Ligety was skiing for PCST, coming up via Jr Olympics and NorAms before getting spot on USA team his strength was SL.  It was a surprise to those who saw him develop that GS was going to be his claim to fame.

 

I think he is more likely to work on competing at DH than at SL to make a run at World Cup overall for that reason of how his progression went from SL to GS.

 

Ligety's first Olympic gold was in the combined, SL and shortened downhill. 

post #9 of 12

All true^^^^^There's a lot a play with Ted's skiing. He's got a great GS equipment setup, but even with his GS results this year, he could be skiing a bit better as his season wore on. Might be all of the media, and other obligations in an Olympic year. Hirscher's tank also seems drained. Ligety spent a great deal of the summer trying to get his SL back on track….a lot of fiddling with his boots, skis, ramp angle….the works. When he started the season, if you watch his video, he was in a much narrower stance, with his hips in the right place. As the season wore on, he was in a wider stance with big angles…..which is not fast for him in SL. There's been a LOT of talk on the WC about Head struggling with SL boot steps as well as SL skis. They do not seem to have it dialed in, and I think Ted's been frustrated. I'm of the opinion that Forest Carey, his coach, could get him to be a consistent top 15 DHer, in short order, and that he could be a very consistent SG skier. The problem is that he is incredible in terms of going arc to arc. Part of it is the extreme angles that he generates, and the resulting shorter radius produced by those 35M radius skis in GS. He's also got a great transition. All of that needs to be tempered, with a lot more patience, etc in real speed. The bulk of the WC downhill tracks have either a lot of gliding, a lot of air, or both. He'd need to just adapt to it. No question IMO that he could do it. He has an amazing feel for the snow. He's a tremendous free skier, who just loves the sport. We'll see. About the only thing on his list of goals must be the overall. I think it's the same four man race for the foreseeable future: Hirscher, Ligety, Pinturault and Svindal. Pinturault is two years younger than Hirscher….he turns 23 this week. Ligety turns 30 this year…Svindal two years older. This should be a fun few years watching these guys battle over the course of the season. Who knows…we may see some four event skiing to try to grab every possible point. Like I said above, I like Pinturault's future prospects. 

post #10 of 12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muleski View Post
There's a lot a play with Ted's skiing. 

Ted's 29, this is arguably his peak year with another Olympic Gold and another GS World Cup championship.  32 by next Olympics. Not sure there is a lot of play if by that ability to pick up new specialty at this point in his career to score points.  He did manage a podium in a DH this year so it looks like that might be the area he feels he can most adapt his skills to gain enough points to be able to challenge for World Cup championship.

post #11 of 12

I kind of agree with comments above, though there have been cases of guys making improbable runs at the overall title relatively late in their careers. Kostelic and Alphand both won at 32, in both cases relying on lots of points in a couple events, cherrypicking points elsewhere and benefiting from competition for points in their weaker events, preventing any rival from dominating there. For Ligety, it would be more a matter of strategy, I think, plus a little luck, than actually improving much in, say, slalom or Super-G. How much does he want to sacrifice his dominance in GS for a chance to play for the overall? It would be fun to watch, but it could cost him some wins as he played for points and trained in other events.

post #12 of 12

Good debate, and just on the point "if" Ted had of finished in first in Val d'Isere like he was very capable of doing this year (for the first time since 09/10 in my opinion) he would have finished second in points tied with Svindal in the overall. If we were to add in a very likely top 3 in Adelboden, well then Ligety would have been right on Marcel's heels!

 

Ted is already a threat for the overall and similar to Alexi it comes from the occasional solid SG result, great Super Combined results (an event only 2-4 guys have any hope in, which speaks volumes for the direction Pro skiing has gone) and then obviously their strong GS performances. Pinturault's slalom was real bad at many points this year and as he fully matures over the next season I think he will do more and more SG/speed training. 

 

As someone else pointed out Ligety's sheer volume of media commitments this year cut into training time in all respects and was the same for a few other skiing stars. hard volume for the body to take and a real testament to both Ted and Alexi's conditioning that they were both so strong late season.

 

Ted got caught out big time in Alta Badia, his 2nd hill after Kranskja, he seemed to make a mess of ski choice and tactics and was really caught out by the soft snow, I thought he'd do the same in subsequent races, but he adjusted approach and made it work. He's skiing was a bit off at certain events this year, but when it was going good (a sign of freshness maybe?) he was so dominant, his commitment to line and tactics are his biggest strength, not technique in my opinion and when it worked well he dominated (St.Moritz was astounding).

 

I'm sure Alexi and Ted and all their staff are having the mega head scrather like us...how to win the overall and really for now it's only Alexi and Ted that are in the "middle" they could choose either full commitment in speed or tech to compliment GS (the cornerstone) and make it work. No one else can say that.

 

The scary thing is Alexi is only 23....but I don't think he actually likes skiing, he just likes competition so let's see how that affects his long term motivation! But his technique and commitment is outstanding! If Salomon can build him a better set-up he will be a total destroyer in GS!

 

Great to have all these guys hammering so hard, hammering hard was what slowed Marcel's slalom down I thought and not equipment like a few internet "gurus" have said elsewhere. His body took a hammering it seems and maybe he's not as resilient as he wishes, constant physio care between run is not a healthy way to race. - Hopefully it's just an acute problem and not something chronic.

 

I just wonder how things will pan out in GS when the FIS change ski regs again in 15/16?

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