Switzerland's Corinne Rey-Bellet has made a strong start to the Alpine skiing season's speed events, coming third in the winter's first super-G race.
The 28-year-old skier from canton Valais finished the race in Aspen just one hundredth of a second behind France's Régine Cavagnoud. Austria's Michaela Dorfmeister took first place, securing the first win of the season for the Austrian women's team.
Rey-Bellet's achievement on a difficult course exceeded most pre-race expectations. The podium finish was only her second ever in the super-G discipline.
After the race, Rey-Bellet said she was as shocked as anyone.
"I felt during my training runs in Copper Mountain that I could ski better in the super-G," she said. "But to get onto the podium already here in Aspen surprised me too. I'd only set myself a target of a place in the top ten."
None of Rey-Bellet's compatriots finished within sight of the top positions. Twenty-one year old Nadia Styger began the second World Cup season of her career with a 23rd place finish.
Sylviane Berthod and Monika Dumermuth failed to make it into the points, finishing in 32nd and 34th place respectively, while Corinne Imlig suffered a disqualification.
Friday's result lifted Rey-Bellet up to 22nd in the overall World Cup rankings. Sonja Nef is the best placed Swiss woman in the early standings, currently fifth after last weekend's giant slalom victory in Park City, Utah.
swissinfo with agencies
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