Ford wins in Beaver Creek with Kristoffersen and Haugen on podium

Tommy Ford produced rtghe performance off his career to win his first World Cup race on home snow in America. It was not just the rest of the racers that Ford beat but also the ever changing weather that at one stage threatened to derail the race as well with thick fog and heavy snow and wind. Henrik Kristoffersen took second place with his countryman, Leif Kristian Nestvold Haugen finishing in third. The top five saw Zan Kranjec and Victor Muffat-Jeandet round it out.

The first run saw Kranjec take an early lead with pre race favourite, Alexis Pinturault make a huge error and fall off the pace. It was Ford though who stole the show and took the lead ahead of the two Norwegians, albeit with Nestvold Haugen in second and Kristoffersen in third. Ted Ligety was sitting in fourth with Kranjec in fifth.

The first run took its time to finish as the weather deteriorated. The fog drifted up and down the course causing numerous delays but in the end some of the racers at the end of the field saw better conditions too fight into the second run.

Cyprien Sarrazin started the second run off and he produced a performance that belied his low start number from the first run (36). The Frenchman held the lead and gave the rest of the field plenty to think about. Sarrazin's time was the fastest on the second run and pulled him up to 13th at the end of the race.

With nine to go it was Muffat-jeandet who grabbed the lead from Filip Zubcic and the thirty year old Frenchman withstood the storm that presented itself until first Kranjec and then Kristoffersen posted fastest times. With the race organisers desperate to finish off the three race series in Beaver Creek before the storm really took a hold, the desire for a first American win down the Bords of Prey course in five years was all to evident when Ford left the start. The crowd were willing him down.

Ligety had not managed to battle his way into the mix after he made a few mistakes and had dropped down to tenth when Ford left the start. It was a case of Norway or America, Rossignol or Head for the victory.

Ford is one of the coolest and relaxed racers you could hope to meet. No podiums before to his name but this was a chance to win in America. This was a chance to win his first World Cup race. This was what he had been dreaming of since he was a young guy.

A little time was lost at the top but Ford did not panic. He came across the flat section at the top and then hit the gas. Ford carried on carving the turns, pinching a little here and a little there. While Kristoffersen had had the crowd in awe, Ford had raised it another level. With every gate, Ford had the crowds believing that his fourth place in Soelden was about to be surpassed as his best result.

This was very Hirscher - sequel as he looked stronger and stronger with each gate and when he crossed the line, Kristoffersen and Nestvold-Haugen could only applaud in admiration for the way that the American had dealt with the pressure and won his first World Cup race. Having made the fastest time with a relatively clear first run, his second run, after 30 racers had gone down, was second fastest. The guy has ability!

With victory come the spoils and when he lines up next Saturday in Val d'Isere, he will be wearing the red bib of the World Cup leader, thirty points ahead of Mathieu Faivre (6th today) and Alexis Pinturault having a nightmare of a day finishing in 17th to drop down to third.

After the race he explained: "I am just sticking to what I know and did really trust my skiing. It's been a progression, I have been building into this in the last couple of weeks also in training and here we go."

in the race for the Overall, it was a good day for Matthias Mayer as many of his speed discipline rivals for the Overall failed to make the second run: Dominik Paris, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and Marco Odermatt all crashed out while he managed to pick up 12 points from 19th place. With Pinturault also having an off day, he was expected to be challenging for the win, Mayer was able to extend his lead in the race for the Overall to 21 points.

The uniqueness of Beaver Creek has seen Kristoffersen get out on the speed skis so that he could work out how he could go fast across the flat sections. The steep slope that is the Face de Bellevarde awaits the racers next time out in Val d'Isere.

Watch Ford's section run

Full result

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