Bassino leads Brignone for Italian 1-2 finish in season-opening giant slalom

Marta Bassino led Federica Brignone for an Italian 1-2 finish in the season-opening women’s World Cup giant slalom Saturday in Soelden, Austria.

Bassino held on to her first-run lead to beat her teammate and defending overall World Cup champion by 0.14 seconds.

Petra Vlhova posted the fastest second-run time and the Slovakian racer finished third, 1.13 behind Bassino.

Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin was 1.30 behind in fourth.

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Valerie Grenier of St. Isidore, Ont., was the top-finishing Canadian in 25th, 6.10 seconds behind Basso.

It was Bassino’s second career win, after triumphing in the GS in Killington, Vermont, last season.

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Three-time overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin sat out the race. The American, who won here in 2014, tweaked her back in training two weeks ago and opted to rest.

Shiffrin’s teammate Paula Moltzan, who started 62nd in only her second GS, was ranked 17th after the opening run and the American finished a career-best 10th.

No spectators were allowed as one of the precautionary health and safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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