Ligety DNFs at World Cup Birds of Prey; Jitloff, Chodounsky in the GS points
BEAVER CREEK — Ted Ligety did not make the giant slalom podium at Birds of Prey for the first time since 2007 — he finished fourth that year — after catching an edge and falling to a DNF result while Tim Jitloff and David Chodounsky earned World Cup points Sunday.
Ligety’s only other DNF here in GS was at his first World Cup start on the racecourse in 2005. His spill Sunday shocked the crowds packed into the Beaver Creek grandstands.
“I think compared to yesterday the snow is a lot more aggressive because it was so cold last night,” Ligety said. “I think it’s catching a lot of guys off guard — for sure, it caught me off guard.”
Ligety was the defending Birds of Prey champion in the discipline and had won six of his last seven starts at Beaver Creek, including the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in February.
The American was putting down a solid run at the top of the racecourse before finding some trouble on the face of Harrier. It appeared he caught an edge and slid out of the course, causing a gasp from the energetic crowd, which understandably expects him to win this race on an annual basis.
Americans Get Comfy
Ligety was the first American out of the gate with the No. 4 bib, a prime start position. Jitloff and Chodounsky followed and qualified for the second giant-slalom run.
“I’ve been training really well coming in here,” Chodounsky said. “I was really excited for today and ready to send it.”
Like Ligety, Chodounsky is getting comfortable with the coming to Beaver Creek and racing on the Birds of Prey. Last year, he finished 17th. This year, he finished with the 16th-fastest time.
“It feels good to know that I have a good setup and am going into the season skiing GS well,” he said.
Chodounsky will look to build on his fast start this weekend in France.
“It’s always nice to be in the points,” Jitloff said, “but I’m looking for a little more than 14th place. I skied really good today. I think I just could have cleaned it up a little.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram @Colorado_Livin_On_The_ Hill.