Slovakian Petra Vlhova jumped into top spot in the overall World Cup standings with a dominant victory in the women's slalom in the Swedish resort of Are on Friday, American rival Mikaela Shiffrin finishing third.
Vlhova timed a combined total of 1min 45.16sec, 0.20sec ahead of newly-crowned world champion Katharina Liensberger of Austria.
Shiffrin rounded out the podium, at 0.64sec. It was her 46th podium finish in her last 50 slalom starts (36 wins).
Vlhova's victory, her 20th on the World Cup circuit, bagged her 100 points that saw her leapfrog Lara Gut-Behrami, who will not compete in the two slaloms scheduled for Are, into top overall spot on 1,320 points -- 64pts ahead of the Swiss speed skier.
"Yes it's important, but also important I had good feelings today. I am happy with first place," said Vlhova. "Of course, I feel pressure, but I know how to manage this pressure.
"Every run, every race is a lesson for me, for my future. Now I have a lot of experience so I know how to do it."
Shiffrin, who is a six-time World Cup slalom title winner but is trailing Vlhova by 85 points in the discipline's standings, was seeking what would have been a historic victory in Are.
The 25-year-old American has won 45 World Cup slalom events -- already an all-time record among men and women. She needs one more win to equal the record of most World Cup wins in a single discipline: 46 by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark in the giant slalom.
She has another opportunity in Saturday's second slalom.
- 'Good attitude' -
"I really felt good about the mentality I had on the second run. Even though I had a mistake I was still pushing," said Shiffrin.
"It was good skiing, it was a good attitude. I'd like to do that on both runs tomorrow and see what happens," she added.
"I'm more proud of this third than I am of some of the wins I've had in my career because I felt like I earned it and fought for it."
Canada's Ali Nullmeyer, who tore her ACL and meniscus in both knees in Soelden in the 2017/18 season, was the surprise early leader on the second run.
Ranked 29th in the opening run, she laid down the fastest second run, timed at an impressive 54.89sec, finally losing her lead when American Paula Moltzan and then Slovenian Ana Bucik took over at the top in quick succession.
As the top-10 finishers took their turns in the starthut, Austrian Franziska Gritsch and then German Lena Duerr took control.
Switzerland Michelle Gisin, fifth fastest in the first leg, fluffed her lines in the bottom third of the course, but teammate Wendy Holdener made no such mistake, rocketing down the course to take a 0.98sec lead at the top which looked like a potential podium performance.
But Liensberger, with only a 0.11sec advantage on Holdener, held her line to stretch the lead, and then it was Shiffrin's turn.
The American pushed from the off, but made an error halfway down the straightforward course set to come in behind the Austrian.
Vlhova kicked out of the start gate with a 0.57sec advantage from the first run and the 25-year-old Slovak produced a near-faultless descent to secure victory.