Skiing: Girardelli sweeps into overall lead

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MARC GIRARDELLI, seeking a record fifth overall World Cup crown, won the giant slalom at Alta Badia in Italy yesterday.

The 100 points he collected took Girardelli to the top of the overall standings, ahead of the Norwegian Jan Einar Thorsen.

Girardelli skied two immaculate legs on the Gran Risa piste for the 37th win of his World Cup career. His overall time of 2min 46.25sec, took him half a second clear of the Frenchman Alain Feutrier.

Alberto Tomba, Italy's double Olympic champion in the discipline, has had a disappointing season, but he produced a trademark surge to hoist himself from seventh after the first leg to third, 0.06 seconds behind Feutrier.

'I usually have problems at the start of the season and so it is great to get a result like this,' Girardelli, who was fourth in a downhill in nearby Val Gardena on Saturday, said. That race was won by Leonhard Stock, the Austrian veteran.