Germany’s Luitz leads GS after first run
BEAVER CREEK — Contrary to all reports that Austria’s Marcel Hirscher was born to win every World Cup giant slalom held, the Austrian is in second place after the first run of the Xfinity Birds of Prey Audi FIS World Cup on Sunday, Dec. 2, in Beaver Creek.
Germany’s Stefan Luitz is the surprise leader after the morning run. He leads Hirscher by 15-hundredths of a second and Norwegian Henrik Kristoffersen by 17-hundredths.
Luitz did make the podium here in last year’s giant slalom, finishing third behind Hirscher and Kristoffersen.
American Ted Ligety, a six-time Birds of Prey GS winner, never seemed to get in a groove and was 1.45 seconds off the pace. It does appear that Ligety will make the flip — only the top 30 racers advance to the second run at 12:45 p.m; said top 30 will run in reverse order.
Switzerland’s Loic Meillard is 57-hundredths of second behind in fourth, followed by Manfred Moelgg, of Italy, (59-hundredths back). Sweden’s Matts Olssen and France’s Alexis Pinturault and Victor Muffat-Jeandet are also within a second of Luitz.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.