Super G World Champion Ted Ligety found his speed in the Audi Birds of Prey super G on Saturday finishing fifth, just a tenth of a second from the podium, in front of a roaring Beaver Creek crowd. (Getty Images/Matthew Stockman)
BEAVER CREEK, CO (Dec. 7) – Super G World Champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) found his speed in the Audi Birds of Prey super G on Saturday finishing fifth, just one tenth of a second from the podium, in front of a roaring Beaver Creek crowd. Five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) made a stunning recovery to finish 14th behind winner Patrick Kueng of Switzerland. Ligety will lead the charge on Sunday as the men head back up the hill to race giant slalom, a race he has won an impressive three times. The race will air live on NBC at starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Super G World Champion Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) found his speed in the Audi Birds of Prey super G on Saturday finishing a solid fifth. He finished just one tenth of a second from the podium.
Like Friday’s downhill the course combined the upper part of Raptor, the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships women’s speed track, and the bottom part of the traditional Audi Birds of Prey men’s course.
Five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) held a commanding lead of over a second on the top section of the course before nearly missing a blind gate after the Harrier jump. He then made a stunning recovery to finish 14th.
Olympic bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht (Lake Placid, NY) was also skiing in podium position when he took a tight line in the middle section, smashed a gate and recovered to finish 20th.
Patrick Kueng of Switzerland won the race.
Ligety will lead the charge on Sunday as the men head back up the hill to race giant slalom, a race he has won an impressive three times.
Ligety is also gunning for his third-straight GS win in Beaver Creek, a feat he accomplished in Soelden this October.
The race will air live on NBC at starting at 3:00 p.m. EST Sunday after NBC kicks off coverage with this weekend's Audi Birds of Prey downhill and super G highlights at 2:00 p.m. EST.
QUOTES Ted Ligety It was close. It’s not an easy hill up there right now. It’s tough because it’s flat light and the snow kind of peels away from you in spots too. I think we both (Miller) made some mistakes, but I was able to make them in the right spots maybe.
I skied the turns well. That’s always my forte. I skied the turns well yesterday too. I guess it’s not that much of a surprise. Especially when it’s like this, when it’s snowing, the flats are kind of soft and I lose a ton of time to other guys. It’s just not in my skill set to be fast in flats so soft. That makes it all the more important that I ski those steeper sections well.
My slalom training has been great this fall. I didn’t have the race I wanted to have in Levi. My slalom is like fine China. It’s really nice and looks pretty sometimes and can be fast, but if you drop it, it breaks easily. My GS is like an iron skillet. You can kick it around and do anything with it and it holds up. That’s been a little bit frustrating for me, but that’s kind of how it goes sometimes in ski racing.
Bode Miller After yesterday I told my technician, I told the coaches, I said, ‘I’m going today. There’s not going to be any holding back.’ I like run number two. At that point you don’t have a course report. That’s the only disadvantage so you might as well give it everything you’ve got. I was skiing really well.
That mistake was just unfortunate really. You can see the group of people standing on the right on Harrier jump. The gate is actually against the banners there. It’s a red gate against a red background and you just can’t see it. I wouldn’t make that mistake but one time out of 20. It sucks to make it on a day where I ski that clean on the top. The way I came down off the pitch and even down by Screech Owl–I don’t think anyone can beat that.
Today I showed myself that I could take that kind of risk with no course report and no video analysis. On a brand new hill you don’t know what the speed is like. There are three really blind turns that are pretty nasty at high speeds on the top. I hit all three of them within a foot of where I wanted to be at full speed. For me that’s really encouraging. That’s what I expect of myself, but I’ve messed that up a lot. I always get a little too aggressive or miss the timing. Yesterday and today I hit the timing really well, so I think that’s really encouraging.
Andrew Weibrecht My run was pretty good on top. I felt pretty comfortable, felt like I was pretty much hitting the line. I skied well through the middle. Down on the bottom coming out of the abyss I took just a bit of a wrong line. I was headed a little bit too far right so I had to jam and hop around a couple gates just to stay in the course. I’m really happy with the result even though it could have been a lot better. My goal today was to get into the points and try to get myself back in the top 30. I’m disappointed at what could have been, but it is what it is so I’m moving on.
Our team is strong and getting stronger. We had a lot of great camps this summer. Everybody was working really well together. Things just were starting to click. I think this weekend in general is kind of an off performance for us. But I think moving forward there’s going to be some really good stuff. It’s great to have Bode back. It’s great to have Ted skiing with the speed guys a little bit. It drives everybody.