ALTA BADIA, Italy, Dec. 13, 2003 (AP) -- Italy's Denise Karbon captured her first World Cup victory Saturday, rallying from fifth place after the first run of a giant slalom to edge Austrians Nicole Hosp and Elisabeth Goergl.
For the United States, Krystina Koznick was 15th and Sarah Schleper 18th. Both finished in the top 10 in the first run.
Karbon had the fastest second run down the steep Gran Risa course, ending with a combined time of 2 minutes, 14.69 seconds. She is in her fourth full World Cup season and has been on the rise since winning a silver medal in the giant slalom at the world championships last February.
Hosp was 0.03 seconds behind Saturday, recording her best World Cup result. Goergl led after the first run but skied cautiously in the second. She finished 0.37 seconds behind Karbon and 0.01 seconds ahead of World Cup leader Anja Paerson of Sweden.
Paerson leads the standings with 330 points. France's Carole Montillet, a double downhill winner at Lake Louise, Alberta this month, is second at 266.
Italy enjoyed a strong day. In addition to Karbon, Nicole Gius was fifth and Karen Putzer eighth. Putzer returned after a 45-day absence because of a hip injury.
This race in the Dolomite mountains made up for the giant slalom moved from the Czech resort of Spindleruv Mlyn because of lack of snow.
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