Shiffrin in the hunt after World Cup giant slalom first run

Courchevel (France) (AFP) –

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Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg held a wafer thin lead over Austrian Stephanie Brunner and the American star Mikaela Shiffrin after the first of two giant slalom runs here at Courchevel on Friday.

With a slick performance in mist and falling snow Rebensburg, the Olympic champion at the Vancouver Games in 2010, timed 1min 02.18sec on the morning run.

But with five contenders within 0.27sec, including World Cup giant slalom leader Federica Brignone and world champion Tessa Worley, the German has a fight on her hands in this afternoon's second run.

Shiffrin has not competed since winning a parallel slalom in St Moritz on December 9 after struggling with back pain, but is a hot favourite to take her first giant slalom win of the season.