Bassino leads Italian on two in Sölden

Marta Bassino withstood the pressure on her shoulders to win the second World Cup Giant Slalom race of her career. Having taken a commanding lead in the first run, 0.58 ahead of the rest of the field, Bassino held on to make it an Italian one two with Federica Brignone 0.14 behind her and Petra Vlhova in third. Britain's Alex Tilley placed 27th.

Fog and fresh snow on the first run covered up some of the ice that the Rettenbach is renown for. Some struggled, others survived but Bassino showed the rest how to do it. While the ice certainly made it difficult, what it also did was provide a consistency for all 69 racers that started on the first run. Three racers from the last ten starters made it into the second run: Romane Miradolli started 68 and ended up finishing 13th. American Paul Moltzan started 62 and gave the American Team something to cheer about in taking 10th.

Bassino was technically almost flawless on the first run as she mastered the entry of each turn and it was this that gave her the commanding lead. Others will have watched her run on the video between runs and learnt from it.

Petra Vlhova produced a stunning second run, the fastest of the day to move up from 10th to go into third with Michelle Gisin and Mina Fuerst Holtmann rounding out the top five. The second run did see the slope rut up more and mistakes crept in from some of the favoured racers. Wendy Holdener battled to stay in the race and ended up 26th, just ahead of Alex Tilley and last years race winner, Alice Robinson, lost time as well on the steep and finished in 12th. As the saying goes, It is a race of two runs!

For Alex Tilley, 28th after the first run and she was heading for a really solid second run when she lost the focus around the delay gate on the steep and battled really hard to stay in the race so that she would score World Cup points. After the race, her coach, Noel Baxter explained "There was good skiing on the steep, exactly like we planned. A lapse of concentration in the delay. Will leave it at that and concentrate on the positives, just good to get the season started."

Tilley will be frustrated with taking just 4 points home when had she stayed ahead of the pack and continued gaining speed to the finish, she could have been looking for a top twenty result. What might have been. Baxter added: "Every point counts, she fought to stay in for those points, at least she understands that now."

The racing has started now and the men will race on the Sunday.

No fans, few press but huge excitement in racing being back. If Britain is feeling down for Alex, how do you think the Austrians will feel for one of their home races. Usually 25,000 will cheer one the Austrian racers over a Soelden World Cup weekend, this year no fans. Four made the second run from 11 starters and their best result was 15th!

The Italians take a one two to start the season and after the race Bassino explains that she "had been skiing well in training and just tried to carry that through to the race. It is fantastic the season has started," she ended with

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