Gut wins season-opening race in Solden

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Lara Gut made a blistering start to the defence of her overall FIS Alpine Ski World Cup title by winning the season-opening giant slalom race in Solden on Saturday.

Gut claimed her first overall crown back in March and the Swiss laid down a marker on the first day of the 2016/17 season, winning by an emphatic margin of a minute and 44 seconds.

The 25-year-old, who won the super-G crystal globe for a second time earlier this year, topped the podium just twice in the giant slalom discipline last season but was in a class of her own in Tirol.

She opened up a whopping 1.42-second advantage with a rapid opening run of 1:10.11 under blue skies on the Rettenbach glacier.

Gut clocked 1:12.91 second time around to start a campaign which marks the 50th anniversary year of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup with maximum points.

Mikaela Shiffrin, favourite to wrestle Gut's overall title off her, was second and last year's Solden giant slalom winner Federica Brignone produced another bold showing to fill the podium.

It was a day to forget for giant slalom crystal globe holder Eva-Maria Brem, who finished way down in 26th place in her homeland 

Lindsey Vonn, Anna Veith and Viktoria Rebensburg missed the opening weekend of the season as they recover from injuries.