Saturday, December 15, 2012

World Cup GS technical comparison, Ted Ligety's weakness starting to show up again.

Marcel Hirscher
 Some may want to call Ted Ligety Mr. GS. But the season is just beginning. As we remember last season, Ted was great on the easier slopes and courses, but when it came back to Europe, Hirscher took over. So what do you call Hirscher, "Mr Super Skier"?  Hirscher not only won the GS crown last season, but the overall World Cup.

He has been on every GS and Slalom podium this season. Technically he is more solid than Ted. Ted is still making mistakes and it's due to his inside foot use and his hips being back behind his skis in many arcs. He continues to be on the verge of Balance failures, which cost him the race in Val d'Isere. Hirscher continues with his perfect, compact body, inside leg lifted and his outside knee right up against the inside boot. This makes the skis carve and fast.
Hirscher's inside foot rarely moves forward in the critical part of the arc. A great aid for keeping all the pressure focused over the center of the outside ski.

Compare the difference between the two skiers here. Ted is on his inside ski and also in the next frame less balanced than Hirscher. Obviously this is one turn out of 50, but this pattern was consistent and  undeniable as the difference between the two throughout the course. 

Ted Ligety compared to Pinturault. Ted more leaned inside and hips further back, as he does in slalom. Ted already too extended for this part of the arc.
With Pinturault you see similar compactness as Hirscher and the hips more forward and more lined up with the outside skis boot.
Pinturault is the more dangerous challenge to Hirscher, he's a more solid technical skier than Ted. My guess is we will see Ted's performance drop as the season continues, like last year,  and these two, Hirscher and Pinurault,  will battle it out for the World Cup..

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