Ted Ligety of the USA competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Giant Slalom on February 18, 2012 in Bansko, Bulgaria. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Christophe Pallot)
BANSKO, Bulgaria (Feb. 18) - Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) survived a near crash in his second run dropping him from first to 27th on the day and out of the lead of the giant slalom standings for the first time this season. In a stumble he missed a gate that whipped him and cut his face. Ligety hiked uphill to navigate the gate and stay in the race, leading to his finish seven seconds back. Austrian Marcel Hirscher won to jump 81 points in front of Ligety with three giant slalom races remaining in the season. American Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) finished a career-best 12th.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) led after the opening run
Ligety nearly crashed out of second run, but finished 27th
Austrian Marcel Hirscher won to take an 81 point lead in the giant slalom standings
Ligety previously led the World Cup giant slalom standings all season
Three giant slalom races remain in the season
Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) finished 12th for a career best in giant slalom
Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) crashed on the third-to-last gate for the first run and did not qualify
QUOTES Mike Day, Technical Head Coach Ted was going extremely hard and I think at gate five or six hit the groove from the earlier guys and just went on his side and had to hike around the gate.
Bode did a few flat spins across the finish line and would have qualified if he didn't get squashed like that. He said people his age shouldn't do things like that. He's going to miss the slalom tomorrow.
Tommy skied really well, it was good skiing. He made a pretty good sized mistake in the first run and came back for a career best and then we had Jitloff working back into things. He's been really sick before this race, lost six kilos and hasn't had that much ski volume. He skied a lot better that expected considering how his health has been.