Ted Ligety rockets to ninth in the Madonna di Campiglio night slalom (Getty Images/Agence Zoom - Alexis Boichard)
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO (Dec. 18) - Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) survived a tricky first set and produced a solid final run to finish ninth in the Italian night race for his first slalom top 10 of the season. Austrian Marcel Hirscher landed a Ligety-esque victory with a 1.67 margin over Felix Neureuther of Germany as Japan's Naoki Yuasa finished third. Thousands, including Italian great Alberto Tomba, lined the flood lit slope as the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup returned to Madonna di Campiglio for the first time since 2005.
Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) produced his best slalom result of the season with ninth in the Madonna di Campiglio night slalom.
Austrian Marcel Hirscher won both runs to produce a massive 1.67 margin of victory over Felix Neureuther of Germany. Japan's Naoki Yuasa was third.
The tricky first set produced 24 DNF's including all four other American starters.
Ligety has improved his slalom results with each start this season. He was 13th in the opening race in Levi, Finland and 12th in Val d'Isere, France.
The win by Hirscher bumped Ligety to third in the overall standings. Norway's Aksel Lund Svinday did not race, but continues to lead the overall standings.
Ligety will compete again on Thursday in Alpine Rockfest, an exibition dual giant slalom in Andalo, Italy with 70,000 Euro going to the winner.
QUOTES Ted Ligety I didn't feel awesome (in the first run), but I didn't feel that bad either. I felt like I had some snap. Even though I was making some bobbles I was able to keep it going pretty well. I had plenty of grip. I think a lot of guys are struggling with grip.
It's very, very icy - even icier than Alta Badia was the other day.
He (Alberto Tomba) was definitely one of my childhood heroes, so it's always cool to meet a guy like that. It's cool when he comes to these races.
Sasha Rearick Ted skied well in the first run. I was stoked to see him bring the intensity and stay forward the whole way down. He actually had great body position in both runs. He's been leaning back on his skis in slalom and that's been holding him back. Today was a big jump forward and he gained some more ground in the the overall points.
Both courses were quite turny and produced a lot of straddles, unfortunately three of those straddles came from our guys.
Hats off to Hirscher. Both of his runs were amazing, but that second run was inspiring. It was full risk the entire way on a super turny course.