Norwegian Lucas Braathen claimed victory in the season opener in Sunday's World Cup giant slalom.

Gino Caviezel finished second after leading after the first leg, and fellow Swiss Marco Odermatt placed third. Braathen, who was fifth after the first run, posted the second fastest time behind Odermatt in the deciding run to seal a maiden podium and World Cup win.

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“I went for it. I am not here for fifth places, I am here for podiums,” said Braathen after his second run.

Braathen claims maiden World Cup win at season-opening Soelden

Odermatt was half a second behind and Caviezel 0.46 seconds.

Alexis Pinturault took fourth and Henrik Kristoffersen - current GS world champion - took fifth, tied with Loic Meillard.

In the first run, the top seven positions were just three tenths of a second apart, giving the Swiss leader only 0.15 seconds between him and Zan Kranjec, Henrik Kristoffersen and Alexis Pinturault behind him.

Caviezel was the best on a slippery course at Rettenbech glacier at Soelden, and posted a time of 1m 8.13s.

A stronger performance was expected by current overall World Cup champion Aamodt Kilde, but he lost his right ski on a bump on the course and was unable to complete his run.

The giant slalom is extremely competitive this season following Marcel Hirscher's retirement, with the Austrian champion six out of the last seven events.

Coronavirus loomed large over events with no spectators allowed, and Russia's Pavel Trikhichev, Alexander Andrienko and Ivan Kuznetsov were all self-isolating after two Russian coaches tested positive.

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