Switzerland’s Lara Gut won the opening race of the World Cup skiing season at the women’s giant slalom in Soelden, Austria.
Gut had a combined time of 2 minutes, 25.16 seconds over two runs today to claim her first victory in the discipline. The 22-year-old’s previous best giant slalom results were a pair of third place finishes.
Austria’s Kathrin Zettel was 0.84 seconds behind in second, with Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany in third. It was Zettel’s record fifth top-three finish in Soelden, tying the mark for most podiums at a single venue.
Defending giant slalom and overall World Cup champion Tina Maze finished in 18th place, more than three seconds behind Gut. The Slovenian won the giant slalom in Soelden last year and was seeking her record-extending fourth victory there.
American Lindsey Vonn, the four-time overall World Cup champion, did not race as she recovers from February knee surgery resulting from a crash at the world championships.
The women will next race a slalom in Levi, Finland, on Nov. 16. The men’s tour opens its season tomorrow with a giant slalom in Soelden.