Simoncelli leads Italian 1 – 2 at Rockfest with Svindal third

Davide Simoncelli was, in his words, “in the right place at the right time,” to benefit from a rare mistake from Mr Giant Slalom, Ted Ligety. Ligety had been fastest in the first two elimination rounds and was in fine form until he made a mistake that caused him to ski out. Simoncelli was able to watch from the finish and celebrate with his compatriot Luca de Aliprandi. Aksel Lund Svindal picked up third place the winner takes all final round. The unique format saw fellow HEAD World Cup Rebel post the fastest times on the opening two runs of the sprint event but made a mistake on the final run to crash out. Davide Simoncelli won the event with fellow Italian Luca de Aliprandi taking second.

After the race Svindal commented: “It’s always exciting to get to the Finals because then you know its one run and winner takes everything. It didn’t work out the way I wanted to, but it’s still a fun race and a good day of skiing.”

Despite having crashed out on the final run, Ted Ligety explained: “It’s a bummer that I had to catch one edge. I caught my inside edge and it just flipped me around. It’s the kind of thing when the course is this short and you make one mistake, its all over with. That’s how it goes sometimes and its cool that someone else won, but I’m really glad that I didn’t do this in a World Cup.”

Ligety added: “Rockfest is a really cool event. All the racers are up there at the start hanging out together. You are not with your national teams and coaches and it’s a really fun atmosphere.”

Such is the respect that Ligety has on the HEAD GS ski this season, winner of Rockfest, Davide Simoncelli said after the event: “His first run was amazing, his second run was amazing, amazing, amazing and then in third run he makes that mistake, maybe the first one all year. It was lucky for me. I guess I was in the right place today. Ligety is the GS master.”

With racers allowed to use the ski of their choice in terms of regulations, HEAD world Cup Rebels Ted Ligety, Aksel Lund Svindal and Marcel Mathis all chose to use the 35m reverse sidecut skis that were banned 2 weeks prior to Soelden. Simoncelli decided to use the 2011 – 12 legal skis.