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Career-Best PGS Result for Ford in Chamonix

By Courtney Harkins
February, 9 2020
Tommy Ford Chamonix
Tommy Ford races Giovani Borsotti in the Chamonix PGS to eventually take fourth place. (Getty Images/AFP - Jeff Pachoud)

Tommy Ford grabbed his best FIS Ski World Cup result of 2020, taking fourth in the parallel giant slalom in Chamonix, France.

Swiss teammates Loic Meillard and Thomas Tumler battled for first in the big final, with Loic taking the win. In a dash for the podium, Tommy made a tiny mistake to finish behind Alexander Schmid of Germany in the small final, allowing Alexander to take third.

Tommy quickly picked off Stefan Hadalin of Slovenia in the 1/16 finals, Giovanni Borsotti of Italy in the 1/8 finals and Thibaut Favrot of France in the quarterfinals before losing to Alexander. This is Tommy’s third top-five result of the 2019-20 season, having taken fourth in Soelden and the big win on home soil in Beaver Creek. This is his career-best parallel giant slalom result. 

Tommy had a fast first run in the morning's qualifier and a "safer" second run as he tried to dial in his set-up and figure out the skis before heading into the 1/16 finals. "I was able to get in a rhythm right out of the start, which was a big change from Alta Badia," said Tommy. "I was able to find the ski early and was psyched about that—I had fun just generating speed from top to bottom. I just got in the flow of things and felt connected to the skis and the snow, even over the pieces of terrain, and kept the continuity with it throughout the runs and before I knew it I was in the semifinal."

The parallel event has stirred up controversy in the ski community, with athletes and fans alike questioning the fairness of the event, as well as the safety of the head-to-head format. In the quarterfinals, Tommy was the only skier to emerge victorious on the more challenging red course. 

From there, Tommy narrowly escaped a collision in the semifinals with Thomas Tumler of Switzerland.  "I got out of the start a little slower and pushed it maybe a little too much, had some sweet turns and went straight into a piece of terrain where you usually need a bit more direction, and landed sideways, popped a ski off and narrowly missed getting hit by Thomas Tumler—so hats off to him for taking it off the gas for a second," he said. "And then, after that with Schmid in the small final, I just lost a little momentum there, but still skied well. All in all, fun day...nice to get more than a couple of runs in a pro-style event."

Luke Winters also started the race for the Land Rover U.S. Alpine Ski Team but did not finish in the qualification round.

Next up, the men head to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria for speed events on Thursday and Friday, replacing the Beijing Olympic test events that were originally scheduled for Yanqing, China. The tech men head over to Japan for giant slalom and slalom events in Niigata Yuzawa Naeba on February 22 and 23.

Men’s parallel giant slalom