Brignone eyes World Cup lead after lightning first combined run


Crans-Montana (Switzerland) (AFP)

Federica Brignone closed in on the overall lead in the alpine skiing World Cup after blitzing her rivals in the opening super-G run of Sunday's combined event at Crans Montana.

Italian Brignone finished 0.58 seconds ahead of fellow title rival Petra Vlhova after a blistering run of one minute, 15.62 seconds early in the event which left her rivals trailing in her wake.

Compatriot Marta Bassino and Michelle Gisin appeared close to overhauling Brignone during their runs, but Bassino did not finish after straying off course and home hope Gisin lost control of her skis just as she looked poised for the lead and finished over a second back.

Slovakian Vlhova will fancy her chances of overhauling Brignone in this afternoon's slalom run, which completes Sunday's combined, as she leads the standings in the slalom discipline after winning the last three in the World Cup.

Both could overtake Mikaela Shiffrin in the overall standings thanks to the star American's absence from competition since the death of her father at the start of the month.

Brignone is just 27 points behind Shiffrin while Vlhova is 86 points back in third.