Alpine skiing-Odermatt wins first men's giant slalom of season


Alpine Skiing - Ski World Cup - Men's Giant Slalom - Soelden, Austria - October 24, 2021 Switzerland's Marco Odermatt celebrates winning on the podium REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

(Reuters) - Switzerland's Marco Odermatt started his World Cup Alpine ski season with a win in the opening giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, on Sunday.

The 24-year-old moved up from third after the first leg on the Rettenbach glacier piste to beat Austria's Roland Leitinger, the early leader chasing a first World Cup win on home snow, by 0.07 seconds.

It was the third World Cup giant slalom win of Odermatt's career and the perfect start to a season building towards next February's Olympics in Beijing.

Slovenia's Zan Kranjec was third, a further 0.03 behind.

France's reigning world champion Matthieu Faivre dropped from second after the first leg to finish 11th while compatriot Alexis Pinturault, the overall World Cup champion, was fifth.

U.S. skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle made his return to World Cup action after suffering a neck fracture in a downhill crash in Kitzbuehel last January.

He was 31st in the first run, failing to qualify for the second by 0.01.

Norway's Lucas Braathen also made his comeback from the knee injury that ended his 2020-21 season in January, finishing seventh after posting the fastest time in the second leg to move up from 19th.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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