Swiss skier Carlo Janka has won Saturday's giant slalom race in Val d'Isère, France, capturing his first World Cup victory.This content was published on December 13, 2008 - 15:51
Janka completed the two runs on the highly technical Bellevarde course 0.20 seconds ahead of Italy's Massimiliano Blardone. Gauthier de Tessieres of France took third.
Janka completed the first of two runs in fourth place but showed poise and strong nerves in the second to post a top time of 2 minutes 22.73.
But it was De Tessieres, an unheralded skier on the World Cup circuit, who surprised everyone with a remarkable finish after entering the second leg in 30th position.
Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway missed out on a podium place after almost falling. He finished fourth, having been in second place after the opening run.
The fifth place by Switzerland's Didier Cuche was good enough to propel him into the lead of the giant slalom standings for the season so far.
Among the other Swiss, Daniel Albrecht came 15th and Didier Defago was 22nd while Marc Berthod failed to complete the second run.
The reigning World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety of the United States lost time on the bottom section and missed out on a fifth straight World Cup podium finish in giant slalom, placing 12th overall.
De Tessieres almost missed the cut after a dismal time in the first run, but that gave him an unexpected advantage as the first to start the second run, benefiting from better weather and a smoother slope.
The 27-year-old Frenchman held the lead until Janka's second run. The Swiss was faster at every time check displaying a near faultless technique.
On Friday, Austria's Benjamin Raich won the super-combined event in Val d'Isère after a brilliant slalom run. Janka finished eighth thanks to his first place finish in the super-G leg.
In women's downhill skiing, Switzerland's teenage star Lara Gut came sixth in a giant slalom race held in the Spanish resort of La Molina.
It was won by Finland's Tanya Poutiainen. Italy's Manuela Mölgg came second and Austria's Nicole Hosp was third.
In Nordic ski jumping on Saturday, Switzerland's Simon Ammann scored his third World Cup victory of the young season, and sixth of his career.
Ammann flew 144 metres on his second jump on the large hill in Pragelato, Italy to propel himself past Austria's Gregor Schlierenzauer and Ville Larinto of Finland.
The Swiss flew further than Schlierenzauer in his first jump too but was penalised for failing to make a clean landing, putting him in second position going into the final round.
Ammann's record jump of 144m gave the Austrian little chance, who only managed 139.5m.
Ammann further extended his overall lead with a second place finish on Sunday. He now has 425 points compared to 350 for Schlierenzauer, who came fourth.
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World Cup standings - giant slalom after 3 of 8 races:
1. Didier Cuche (Switzerland) 165 points
2. Ted Ligety (United States) 162
3. Carlo Janka (Switzerland) 158
4. Benjamin Raich (Austria) 150
5. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 130
6. Daniel Albrecht (Switzerland) 116
7. Massimiliano Blardone (Italy) 112
8. Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) 74
9. Gauthier de Tessieres (France) 69
10. Romed Baumann (Austria) 68
World Cup overall after 9 of 37 events:
1. Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 395 points
2. Benjamin Raich (Austria) 293
3. Carlo Janka (Switzerland) 291
4. Jean-Baptiste Grange (France) 246
5. Didier Cuche (Switzerland) 241
6. Hermann Maier (Austria) 216
7. Ted Ligety (United States), Didier Defago (Switzerland) and Peter Fill (Italy) 207
10. Daniel Albrecht (Switzerland) 201