The anticipation of how the racers could adjust to the new ski dimensions meant that the first Giant Slalom of the season was full of intrigue. Stefan Luitz leads the way from Ted Ligety with Marcel Hirscher going into third.
The race started off with Mathieu Faivre making a big mistake and although he carried on, he knew that he did not have a chance to make the second run, eventually finishing in 54th spot, just behind Kjetil Jansrud.
Hirscher put in a strong run that saw him not only take the lead but also laid down a marker for the rest of the field. In the end it was only Luitz and Ligety that bettered his time, Luitz from bib 5 and then Ligety from 14 as the wind started to build up. Ligety was 0.29 behind Luitz and has a great chance to add to his six wins on the Birds of Prey course.
Six racers from outside the top thirty seeded racers made the second run with three racers tied in 28th. Stefan Hadalin from Slovenia came from bib 60 to join them making the second run. Bjoernar Neteland with bib 52 produced a stunning run to go into 22nd. Trevor Philp from Canada produced a stunning run off the back of his great Nor Am results to go into 12th from a start of 37.
Ligety has explained his thoughts looking forward about the second run “It looks good, a little better than in the first round. I hope the conditions are the same for everyone, then we have a super race.”
Hirscher explained how things have gone over the last few days: “We have been really pushing the gas for the past few weeks. It was right for everyone at the stop. The first round makes you want more. The last few days have been really good – things have gone better from day to day. There is a lot more possible, because with the new regulations it is still in its infancy. Since all ski brands still have room for improvement.”