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Maier leads in Adelboden after first run

Switzerland's Michael von Grünigen faces a tough challenge in Adelboden after finishing almost a second behind arch-rival Hermann Maier in the first run of the latest World Cup giant slalom event.

The Swiss number one was fortunate even to stay in contention after almost losing control of his skis on the infamously steep final stage of the Kuonisbärgli course.

Von Grünigen, who currently leads Maier in the overall giant slalom rankings, regained his balance to cross the line in third place ahead of Tuesday's second run.

Maier's time of 1:06'77" put the Austrian superstar 0.91 seconds ahead of Von Grünigen. Sweden's Fredrik Nyberg finished the first run in second place, half a second ahead of Von Grünigen.

While Von Grünigen will be keen to win in front of his home crowd, Maier looks in a good position to maintain his impressive reputation in this Swiss resort.

The Austrian is yet to be defeated in Adelboden and is looking to complete a hat-trick of wins on the course, following his successes in the last two years of the competition.

by Mark Ledsom

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