ALPINE SKIING

Switzerland's Didier Cuche wins first giant slalom of the season

Didier Cuche's decisive performance in the second run led to his claiming the 10th World Cup triumph of his career at the first giant slalom race of the season in Sölden, Sweden.

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AFP - Switzerland's Didier Cuche won the first World Cup men's giant slalom race of the season in Sölden, Sweden on Sunday with an overall time of 2 minutes 21.45 seconds.

The 35-year-old, the reigning world Super-G champion, was third after the first run, but a decisive performance on the second gave him the tenth World Cup triumph of his career.

"I was helped by my start number on the first run," said Cuche.

"I had to fight much more on the second run, because the snow had moved so much.

"I spent last week doing some good training in Saas Fee and so I am not surprised about the result here."

Ted Ligety of the United States finished second after clocking 2min 22.05sec while Switzerland's world giant slalom champion Carlo Janka was third in a time of 2min 22.40sec.

Ligety was pleased to claim second place after recovering from a knee injury he suffered at his national championships earlier this year.

"That was a really tight competition, just like it is here every year," he said.

"It is the first race of the year and the atmosphere is really special with thousands of fans in festival mood at the finish.

"I am happy with the result as I picked up an injury in spring at the national championships, but managed to avoid a knee operation.

"I only resumed training in August, so second is not bad."

Italy's Massimiliano Blardone missed out on the podium by just 0.01sec.

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