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LA VILLA, Italy (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Zan Kraniec led the opening heat of the Alta Badia giant slalom on Sunday, while overall World Cup leader Marco Odermatt struggled to ninth.

Slovenian skier Kranjec has a significant lead over the two Norwegians.

Henrik Kristoffersen was 0.60 seconds behind Kranjec in second, with Lukas Braaten 0.73 back in third.

Odermatt, who looked tired after several days of downhill racing at Val Gardena, had a 1.42 to make up for in the return leg later on the Gran Risa course.

Kranjec trailed Braaten at the final checkpoint but made up time on the flatter bottom section.

At last winter’s Beijing Olympics, Kraniec was the only racer to seriously challenge Odermat, who took gold in a snowstorm.

Odermatt won the opening two giant slaloms this season, while Kranet finished second and third in Solden, Austria, and Val d’Isere, France, respectively.

However, Odermatt could extend his lead in the overall category after Alexander Aamodt Kield, who is second in the standings, did not complete his run.


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