MARIBOR, Slovenia (AP) — Mikaela Shiffrin leads the final women's World Cup giant slalom before the world championships by nearly a half-second after the opening run Friday.
Skiing in drizzle and with clouds hanging low over the Pohorje course, Shiffrin finished 0.48 seconds ahead of Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. World champion Tessa Worley of France was one-tenth further behind in third.
The rest of the field had more than a second to make up in the second run.
Shiffrin is looking to match the United States women's record of nine World Cup GS wins set by Tamara McKinney in the 1980s.
Going into the race, she led Worley by 10 points in the season standings. Two other main rivals, Italy's Federica Brignone and Germany's Viktoria Rebensburg, failed to finish their runs and won't score World Cup points.
Speed specialist Ilka Stuhec was cheered by the home crowd as she competed in her first GS in almost two years. Stuhec tore an ACL in Oct. 2017 and missed the entire season, including the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The 2017 World Cup downhill champion finished 26th and just qualified for the second run 3.62 seconds behind Shiffrin.
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports