Lindell-Vikarby takes lead after 1st GS run

PAT GRAHAM
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Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby bends a gate as she heads down course during the first run of the women's World Cup giant slalom skiing event, in Beaver Creek, Colo., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Jessica Lindell-Vikarby of Sweden had the fastest time in the first run of a World Cup giant slalom Sunday, taking a slight lead over 18-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin.

Lindell-Vikarby finished the challenging Beaver Creek course in 1 minute, 6.69 seconds. She built nearly a half-second advantage over Shiffrin, a slalom specialist who has worked all offseason on improving her giant slalom technique in.

Shiffrin was accorded the Lindsey Vonn treatment by fans, who mobbed her for autographs as the skier from nearby Eagle-Vail made her way out of the finish area. Vonn is skipping the race to rest her right knee after a recent crash during training.

Lara Gut of Switzerland struggled on the course and didn't finish. She won the downhill and super-G the last two days.