Austria's Kriechmayr leads downhill in World Cup combined

WENGEN, Switzerland (AP) — Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria led from a strong Italian challenge after the opening downhill portion of a World Cup combined event on Friday.

On a shorter 2.9-kilometer Lauberhorn course, Kriechmayr was 0.59 seconds faster than teammate Hannes Reichelt, who said he would skip the afternoon slalom leg.

That left three Italians as Kriechmayr's closest challengers: Dominik Paris, Peter Fill and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Christof Innerhofer had from 0.74 to 0.84 to make up in the slalom.

Downhill specialist Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was seventh fastest trailing by 1.07.

World champion Luca Aerni of Switzerland was well placed among the slalom specialists with 2.15 to make up.

The previous combined winner this season, Alexis Pinturault of France, opted not to start to focus on Sunday's slalom.