David Chodounsky skied to an 18th-place finish in Saturday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup men's giant slalom in Val-d'Isere, France (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Grosclaude)
VAL D’ISERE, France (Dec. 9, 2016) – On a course defined by shadows, hard snow and relentless terrain, David Chodounsky (Crested Butte, CO) squeaked out an 18th-place finish in Saturday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom.
“I just barely squeaked in the first run,” said Chodounsky, who tied Italy’s Florian Eisath for 30th to qualify for the second run. “This hill is so tough. It’s steep and never lets you go. I felt like I was attacking, but made some mistakes (in the first run), but I opened it up a bit in the second run.”
Chodounsky, along with teammates Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) and Tommy Ford (Bend, OR) were the only Americans to make the top 30 first run cut. Both Ligety and Ford skied aggressively on the top portion of their second runs. However, they were not able to carry it to the line and both DNF'd.
Sunshine, shadows, a challenging track and thousands of French fans greeted racers at Saturday’s Audi FIS Ski World Cup giant slalom. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom-Alain Grosclaude)
“I was moving well,” said Ford, who posted the fastest first interval time on the second run and the third fastest second interval time. “But I got a little defensive in the dark.”
France’s Alexis Pinturault delighted the home-country crowd with his second giant slalom World Cup victory of the season. Austria’s Marcel Hirscher was second for third-straight World Cup giant slalom race, as Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen rounded out the podium in third.
Next up, the men compete in slalom Sunday at Val d’Isere. Two of Chodounsky’s best World Cup slalom results (fourth in 2015 and seventh in 2014) have come at Val d’Isere, and he is looking forward to Sunday’s race.
“Every day is a new race, so I’ll just go out and have fun and see what happens,” Chodounsky said.
David Chodounsky was the top U.S. finisher in 18th in Sunday’s World Cup giant slalom.
France’s Alexis Pinturault took his second giant slalom World Cup victory of the season.
Pinturault leads the World Cup giant slalom standings through three races with 260 points.
Austria's Marcel Hirscher, who has finished second in all three World Cup giant slalom races this season, is second in the GS standings with 240 points.
Road to Aspen: Hirscher maintained his overall World Cup lead with 360 total points, Pinturault is second with 284 points.
Watch today's giant slalom on Universal HD at 5:30 p.m. EST.
Live streaming of the men’s slalom Sunday at 3:30 and 6:30 a.m. EST. will be available on NBCsports.com/Live.
QUOTES David Chodounsky I just barely squeaked in the first run. This hill is so tough. It’s steep and it never lets you go. I just wanted a solid run. I really wanted to attack too. I felt like I was attacking, but made some mistakes (in the first run), but I opened it up a bit in the second run.
I’m pretty happy actually. It’s a process and I’m progressing … getting to be where I want it to be, training fast, so it’s getting there.
Every day is a new race, so I’ll just go out and have fun and see what happens.
Tommy Ford I skied well before that. I was moving well, let go … but I got a little defensive in the dark.
TV SCHEDULE BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAMING (All times EST) Saturday, Dec. 10 5:30 p.m. Men’s giant slalom – Universal HD
Sunday, Dec. 11 3:30 a.m. Men’s slalom, first run – Val D’Isere - NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM 6:30 a.m. Men’s slalom, second run – Val D’Isere - NBCsports.com - LIVE STREAM 1:30 p.m. Men’s slalom – Universal HD