Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ligety and Vonn once again on another planet

Lake Louise's undisputable Queen

Third race and third success in row, this time in superg, which sets her winning streak on that slope one step forward, this was indeed Lindsey Vonn's 7th success in the last 7 races on the Canadian track. But if yesterday's result was nothing but pure and amazing talent, today she had been much wiser in her skiing, avoiding any big risk, mostly in the steep part, but that didn't change the eventual result as no girl could finish closer than half a second.
2nd in the end was Julia Mancuso, her team-mate and long time rival. Julia was on the lead until Lindsey finished her run and she probably caressed the idea of beating her on her beloved slope, conscious of having done a terrific flat final, the best one before Vonn's run. So when Lindsey looked rather prudent on the steep part and the partial time before the flat showed a very close gap between the two, none could expect Vonn to easily gain a greater advantage of Mancuso, but so she did and grabbed another victory.
Julia had to be very proud of her race though, because, despite the gap that separates her from Vonn, she was able to ski a very convincing run mostly, as it has been already pointed out, on the last part of the slope. She knew she had done something great the moment she could overtake Anna Fenninger on the temporary lead of the race: the Austrian had herself skied an extremely good run, built on some great gliding and line choices on the flat parts, but most of all on an outstanding interpretation of the big turns set on the middle steep.
4th and 5th finished respectively Tina Maze and Maria Riesch. The two of them had to content themself of staying at podium's feet, but still scoring good points for the overall ranking, in which the former is still leading, despite the not-too-positive weekend.
Maze's run was, anyway, a great step ahead of what she had shown in downhill, where she didn't find the right way to fully express her abilities. Today she skied much better, mostly on the steep, where her GS talents helped her to score on of the best partial timing, unless losing quite a lot by the end on the last few gates on the flat.

Ligety still too good, Hirscher and Simoncelli the best among humans

It's been more than a month since the last Giant Slalom men had raced at, but the winner is still the same: Ted Ligety, the American the passport says, but from outer space his time said today on Beaver Creek's snow.
Ted was the one to open the race in the first run and then to finish it since he was leading already after the first half and didn't fail to confirm his placement, actually he did even improve his lead over the second by finishing more than 1'7 seconds ahead of all the others. What struk the most of Ligety's runs is the apparent effortless way he faces even the most difficult passages and trapts set on the courses, despite the longer and less carved skis, where the others need to invent tricks or somehow use their whole power, he just flexes his Heads and makes the turn.
The first among the others on the finish line was Marcel Hirscher, 2nd after both the runs, the only one to be closer than one second to Ligety after the first run, but a couple of mistakes in the second partial couldn't but let this delay to grow bigger, at one point in the second run he looked on trouble defending his placement too, but in the end he could save it from the assault of Italian Davide Simoncelli.
Davide had a very good first run already as he finished it on the 3rd place, but could secure his comeback on the podium only through a solid second run, lightened by an outstanding bottom part, where he could inflame the local crowd with his amazing style. Davide looked on cloud nine when he jumped on the podium, since this summer he got injured and needed a very long and painful recovery and that podium looked like a great prize for his hard work.
Right away from the top 3 finished Manfred Moelgg, who gained one position at the expenses of French Pinturault, who still was able to finish 5th. The two had to be happy in any case, the former for setting another proof of his comeback to the top of both the technical races, the latter for the coinfidence he could draw from such a good result coming from the injury he suffered.
But if the best placements didn't see many changes in the 2nd run, what happened right behind them was strongly affected by three huge comebacks: Aksel Lund Svindal, to once again prove his love for the Birds of Prey rose from 17th to the eventual 6th; Max Blardone, after a huge mistake in the first run barely made it to the 2nd, but there he gave proof of his talent and finished 9th from 18th, whilst Austrian youngster Noesig did even better finishing 10th from the 28th place of the first half.

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