Federica Brignone and Petra Vlhová, respectively Olympic bronze medallist and world champion in the giant slalom, could not be separated in a dramatic race at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup in Sestriere.
In one of most memorable of recent FIS competitions, the Italian and Slovakian finished joint-first in the Swiss resort, with Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States, the Olympic champion, only one hundredth of a second from making it a three-way tie.
Brignone, who won the first Alpine combined title of the season on January 12 in Austria in a race where both Shiffrin and Vlhová failed to finish, took the lead after the first run, clocking 1 min 10.28sec.
That gave her a 0.17sec advantage over the Slovakian and a 0.42 margin over the American.
Giant Slalom is every race more exciting with extremely tight races and different winners. @federicabrignone is the only one this year to claim the victory twice and today she shared it with @PetraVlhova ‼️ @mikaelashiffrin is just 0.01 behind them 🤪— FIS Alpine (@fisalpine) January 18, 2020
Well done girls! pic.twitter.com/U7k0sbivo6
Shiffrin produced the fastest second run, 1:10.46, which was 0.41 faster than the leader's second time, and 0.24 faster than Vlhová’s second effort.
But when the maths was done, Brignone and Vlhová both totalled 2:21.15, with Shiffrin at +0.01 and home skier Wendy Holdener fourth at +0.38.
Brignone now leads both the Alpine combined and giant slalom standings and is third on 665 points in the overall standings, headed by the defending champion, Shiffrin, on 946.
Vlhová - for whom this was a third consecutive win on the tour following victories in Flachau, Austria, this week and Zagreb, Croatia, earlier this month - is second in the overall standings on 713.
Tomorrow will see the women's parallel giant slalom on the Sestriere slopes.