Daniel Albrecht, of Switzerland, center, showing his trophy as he stands on the podium flanked by second placed Ivica Kostelic, of Croatia, left, and third placed Hannes Reichelt, of Austria, in Alta Badia, Italy, on Sunday. (Armando Trovati/AP)
Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland won a World Cup giant slalom race ahead of Croatia's Ivica Kostelic to overtake the lead in the discipline standings Sunday.
Albrecht, who was second after the first run, finished with a combined time of 2 minutes, 32.71 seconds on the treacherous Gran Risa course - considered one of the premier giant slaloms on the circuit.
"It's a very meaningful victory, because this is a so-called classic," Albrecht said. "It's like winning the downhill in Kitzbuehel. It's very special."
Albrecht edged Kostelic by 0.12 seconds and Hannes Reichelt of Austria finished third, 0.33 back, with defending World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety of the United States in fourth - 0.45 out.
Switzerland's Didier Cuche had a disappointing second run to finish fifth, after posting the fastest time in the first leg.
With the win, Albrecht passed Ligety in the giant slalom standings with 216 points to 212, while Cuche dropped from first to third with 210 points.
Ligety skied slightly off course onto some rougher snow midway through his second run and lost nearly half a second. Warmer conditions changed course conditions drastically for the second leg.
"I just made a mistake and that costs you a ton on this hill, especially when the snow is this soft," Ligety said. "I feel like I'm skiing well. It's just a matter of getting to the finish without any mistakes."
Defending overall World Cup winner Bode Miller stood seventh after the opening leg but had trouble throughout his second run.
Miller went down on his hip on the top section, recovered, then lost control completely midway down and fell. The New Hampshire resident slid down about 25 meters (yards) on his hip and came to a stop before the safety netting lining the course.
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