Sunday, October 26, 2014

Marcel Hirscher Wins World Cup Opening GS in Sölden

The 2014/15 Men’s season of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup got under way under blue skies and dream conditions on the Rettenbach glacier in Sölden (Tirol, Austria). While the first run was again all about a tight battle between last year’s overall World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher and giant slalom World Cup winner Ted Ligety, the second run turned out to be only about Hirsher's show. He dominated the second run to top the time sheet with more than a one and half second lead ahead of runner-up of the day Germany's Fritz Dopfer and Frances's Alexis Pinturault, who finished third, 2.06 seconds off the pace.
Ted Ligety, who was just 0.19 seconds after the first run, lost his chance to be successful in Sölden for the fourth year in a row, when he made a mistake just before the flat and final section of the course that cost him a lot of time, to finally end in 10th position, 3.02 seconds adrift.
"I was informed over the radio about Ligety's mistake but it didn't change anything in the way I was planning to ski in the second run", said Hirscher. "I was always going to give it all out".
This was Marcel Hirscher's 10th World Cup victory in Giant Slalom but the first one in Sölden. "I've fought so much for this victory over the last years and now finally I got it", he said. "I am super happy and I wish everyone a great party today. Winning in front of a home crowd is so special and important".
In second position, Fritz Dopfer became the first German skier to stand on a podium in Sölden. "I actually didn't really know about that, but this is for sure an exciting news", said the 27-year-old. "The first race of the season is always a good way to assess how good the summer training went and the result of today is definitely a good sign even if this was just one race. There are a lot more to come and I am looking forward to it", he added.
France’s Alexis Pinturault, who was fifth after the first run, managed to overtake Austria's Benjamin Raich for a mere 0.01 seconds and took advantage of Ligety's mistake to earn his 23rd podium.
"The aim was of course to attack in the second run, but it was complicated due to the bumpy and icy conditions", said the 23-year-old. "These conditions were quite different to what we got in training last week and that made it even more difficult, especially more for me than Marcel. It was a big fight today and I will try to be better next time", he concluded.
After this exciting conclusion to the World Cup’s opening weekend, the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour will head in three weeks to Levi (Finland) for a Men's and a Ladies Slalom.

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