Italy's Marta Bassino on the way to victory in the women's alpine World Cup giant slalom at Killington, VermontItaly's Marta Bassino on the way to victory in the women's alpine World Cup giant slalom at Killington, Vermont (AFP Photo/TOM PENNINGTON)
New York (AFP) - Marta Bassino notched her first alpine skiing World Cup win Saturday, leading an Italian one-two ahead of Federica Brignone in the giant slalom at Killington, Vermont as Mikaela Shiffrin could only finish third.
Bassino launched her day with an attacking first run of 49.05sec on a course shortened because of gusting winds at the planned start line.
Brignone, winner of the Killington giant slalom last year, delivered a storming second run of 48.81 on the shortened course to challenge her 23-year-old teammate.
But Bassino held on with a second run of 49.14 and a total of 1min 38.19sec to win by 26-hundredths of a second.
"I finally put together two runs," Bassino said. "I tried to focus just on myself and to ski like I know how.
"I saw the green light (indicating the best time) and it was incredible," she added. "That's when I realized I won my first World Cup race. Wow."
US superstar Shiffrin, skiing in front of enthusiastic home fans, settled for third with a combined time of 1:38.48.
Shiffrin, who claimed her third overall World Cup title last season, remains in search of a first giant slalom win at Killington, where she has won three slalom races.
She'll try to add to that tally in Sunday's slalom -- and said her second run was encouraging.
"I'm so much happier with the second run, so all in all a good day," said Shiffrin, who attended the Burke Mountain Academy just 100 miles from Killington.
On Sunday, Shiffrin will be in pursuit of a 62nd World Cup race win -- which would tie her with Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell for second most on the women's circuit, a list led by now retired Lindsey Vonn's 82.
New Zealand teenage sensation Alice Robinson, who pipped Shiffrin to win the season-opening giant slalom in Soelden in October, failed to finish the first leg.
Robinson, who turns 18 on Sunday, had expected to miss the Killington races as she recovered from a bone bruise in her left knee but got the all-clear from doctors just this week.