KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia (AP) — Swedish skier Sara Hector edged French former world champion Tessa Worley to lead a women’s World Cup giant slalom after the opening run Saturday.
Some of the other pre-race favorites struggled on the challenging Podkoren course, which is an annual stop on the men’s circuit.
Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin, Petra Vlhova and Lara Gut-Behrami all finished outside the top 10 with more than 1.4 seconds to make up in the second run.
Hector took a lead of .08 over Worley as the winners of the last two giant slaloms positioned themselves to duel for another victory.
Shiffrin, who leads the overall and the discipline standings, won the first two giant slaloms this season and was runner-up to Hector in the third but had to sit out the next GS in Austria last week following a positive COVID-19 test.
On Saturday, the American had no apparent mistakes in her run but still lost time at each checkpoint and placed 14th.
Vlhova, who is second to Shiffrin in the overall standings, finished three-hundredths of a second behind the American before world champion Gut-Behrami, who was racing for the first time in nearly four weeks following a coronavirus infection, came two-hundredths further behind.
World Cup GS champion Marta Bassino of Italy was .23 off the lead in third, followed by Katharina Truppe of Austria and Slovenia’s Meta Hrovat, who grew up and lives in Kranjska Gora.
No spectators were allowed at the race, which had been moved from another Slovenian resort, Maribor, because of a lack snow.
More AP skiing: https://apnews.com/hub/skiing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports