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Vonn wins World Cup giant slalom

Lindsey Vonn of USA competes during the FIS World Cup women's giant slalom in Maribor, Slovenia on January 26, 2013
Lindsey Vonn of USA competes during the first run of FIS World Cup women's giant slalom in Maribor, Slovenia on January 26, 2013. UVonn won ahead of Tina Maze of Slovenia and Anna Fenninger of Austria.

Lindsey Vonn of the United States won the women's World Cup giant slalom here on Saturday, edging home ahead of World Cup leader and home favourite Tina Maze.

The defending World Cup champion was in third place after the first run, but made up a half second on Maze on the second leg to win by 00.08secs.

Maze, who surprisingly made two big mistakes on the upper section of the piste, had to settle for second place, with Anna Fenninger of Austria in third, 00.57secs off the pace.

It was the 59th World Cup victory for Vonn and her sixth of this season, during which she has regularly played second fiddle to Maze, who is on course to wrap up the World Cup crystal globe well before the end of the campaign.

The 29-year-old Slovenian, who has made sure of winning the World Cup giant slalom title, will have another chance to win before her home fans with a slalom scheduled for Sunday.

Maze has 1554 overall World Cup points, a massive 748 ahead of second-placed Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who was fourth on Saturday.

"I am delighted to have won the giant slalom globe," she said.

"Today I was out to win but it wasn't enough. It is not always that easy to ski at your best when everyone expects you to win."

For Vonn; the win over Maze confirmed her return to something near her top form, after a difficult start to the season that saw her floored by a stomach complaint that required her to take a month off to recuperate.

"Four weeks ago everyone thought I was crazy to take the time out," she said. "But I just felt I needed to do that as my body wasn't ready. It is now."

"Still I was a little bit surprised to have won today after such a long break away from skiing a giant slalom. I put in some good training this week but I didn't think it would be enough."