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Italian skier Brignone leads season-ending GS to keep pressure on standings leader Gut-Behrami

SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria (AP) — Federica Brignone led the women’s giant slalom at the World Cup finals after the first run Sunday as the Italian kept the pressure on standings leader Lara Gut-Behrami.

Trailing Gut-Behrami by 95 points, Brignone must win the season-ending race and hope her Swiss rival does not finish in the top 15.

Gut-Behrami avoided risks in her run and finished 1.67 seconds behind in eighth.

That result would see the Swiss star secure not only the GS, but also the World Cup overall title, crowning a consistent season in which she has had eight wins and finished outside the top six just three times.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who ranked second in the overall standings before Sunday’s race, ended her season Saturday after winning her second straight race after a six-week injury layoff.

Despite her lead in the race, Brignone didn’t fancy her chances of overtaking Gut-Behrami.

“I have no chance, I’m only here to show my best skiing,” Brignone told Austrian TV. “I feel very well on my GS skis, training went very well, so I tried everything and only thought about my skiing.”

Brignone was briefly slowed after a mistake halfway through her all-attacking run but still finished well ahead of the field, with runner-up Theo Louise Stjernesund of Norway 0.48 seconds behind.

Third-placed Alice Robinson of New Zealand had 0.85 to make up in the second leg later Sunday.


More AP skiing: https://ift.tt/sgaZeoh

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