ADELBODEN, SWITZERLAND – Defending champion Ted Ligety and Bode Miller skied out of their runs on the bumpy course of the World Cup giant slalom race won by Felix Neureuther of Germany on Saturday.
Ligety, third after the first run, was poised to take the lead but skied out after hitting a bumpy patch midway in the second run.
Miller skied out during the first run, losing his balance on softening snow and 6 C temperatures.
Neureuther overcame a big first-run deficit for his second straight 2014 victory ahead of the Sochi Olympics. Entering the second run in seventh place, he benefited from fading sunshine in the afternoon to finish 0.10 seconds ahead of first-run leader Thomas Fanara of France.
Marcel Hirscher of Austria was third, 0.19 behind Neureuther’s combined time of 2 minutes, 34.60 seconds.
Ligety had little chance to recover after launching toward a gate while preparing to make a turn.
“(Felix) is one of my better friends on the World Cup tour. It’s cool to see him get a win,” said Ligety, who has skied out in two of three GS races since opening the season with back-to-back wins. “He’s been pushing the envelope in GS for the last year and finally put together two good runs. It’s not really a surprise.”
Neureuther’s victory was just the second for Germany in men’s giant slalom in 47 years of World Cup racing, and reduced team director Wolfgang Maier to tears in the finish area.
“It’s just unbelievable,” said Neureuther, who matched Max Rieger’s win in March 1973 at Mont Saint-Anne, Canada. “It makes me very proud.”
Goergl takes downhill
Elisabeth Goergl beat compatriot Anna Fenninger for an Austrian 1-2 finish at a women’s World Cup downhill Saturday, ending a two-year drought for the ski-mad nation in the sport’s fastest discipline.
Goergl, the 2011 world champion, started 28th after the other top contenders had already gone down but had the fastest time at each interval.
Goergl finished the demanding 3-l, Kaelberloch course in 1 minute, 47.45 seconds to deny Fenninger her first career downhill win by 0.56 seconds.