Italy's Brignone emulates mother with Sestriere win

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Razor edge: (From L) Mikaela Shiffrin finished just 0.01 behind joint winners Federica Brignone and Petra Vlhova in Sestriere

Federica Brignone emulated her mother by winning a World Cup Alpine skiing race in Sestriere on Saturday but the Italian had to share top spot on the podium with Slovak Petra Vlhova in the women's giant slalom.

Both Brignone and Vlhova clocked the same overall time of 2min 21.15sec after the two runs down the Italian Alps, with US superstar Mikaela Shiffrin finishing third best just 0.01sec behind.

The 29-year-old Brignone follows her mother, former Italian skier Maria Rosa Quario, who won the slalom in the Italian Alpine resort back in 1983.

"I knew my mother won here a long time ago, but I didn't know she was the last Italian to win here," said Brignone.

"It was one of the hardest races I'd ever done, especially because of the pressure, the crowd, the expectations.

"Everyone was screaming my name, saying 'you're here to win, you have to win!'

"I just tried to stay really iced and really focused on my skiing. I'm so proud of myself.

"The second run was enough to give me a heart attack," added Brignone.

She had been fastest in morning's first run but, despite being the fifth-fastest in the second, held on to match 24-year-old Vlhova, the world champion in the discipline.

"I put my life into it," continued the Italian.

"It was enough to win on a razor edge. I only saw afterwards that I had the same time as Vlhova, but I'm very happy about that."

The two skiers also both achieved their 13th World Cup victory.

The Italian brings her tally in the giant slalom to seven career wins. She has won three races this season.

- 'Big fight'

Olympic champion Shiffrin set a blistering time in the second run to move up from fourth position into the final podium position, her 11th of the season.

But the 24-year-old from Colorado is still chasing her first win of 2020, with her last victories the giant slalom and slalom double in Lienz, Austria in late December.

"It's never easy, it was a big fight," said Shiffrin.

"At the end it was one hundredth and third, but that's how it goes, especially after last season I had the lucky side of the hundreds many times."

Shiffrin -- bidding for a fourth straight big crystal globe -- leads the overall World Cup standings, with a 233-point advantage on Vlhova.

Brignone is third, 281 points behind the American.

The Italian leads the giant slalom standings 61-points ahead of Shiffrin with Vlhova fourth overall.

Shriffin added: "The most exciting thing for me is that people have stopped asking me like 'are you unbeatable'?

"The level of GS is so high and today it was super cool to see so many girls going really aggressive, really good skiing.

"Everyone was just going for it and that was really motivating.

"It does feel a bit like I have to find something new."

Vlhova, the reigning world champion in the discipline, claimed her fourth win of the season, having also won the slalom in Zagreb and Flachau, Austria earlier this month.

"It's my first win in the giant slalom this season, so I'm extremely happy about this," said the Slovak, who is favourite for Sunday's parallel giant slalom race.

Razor edge: (From L) Mikaela Shiffrin finished just 0.01 behind joint winners Federica Brignone and Petra Vlhova in Sestriere.

Mikaela Shiffrin is bidding for a fourth straight big crystal globe this season.

Slovakia's Petra Vlhova has won three races in two weeks.