Kiwi skier Alice Robinson has struggled to repeat her form of a year ago in the season-opening World Cup Giant Slalom in Solden in Austria.
The then 17-year-old scored a stunning maiden World Cup GS victory in Solden 12 months ago, beating Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin into second.
But after being fifth after the first run, the 18-year-old Kiwi was more than two seconds slower in her second run to slip to 12th, with a combined time of 2:23.34, and she finished more than three seconds behind the winner, Italian Marta Bassino.
In cloudy, misty conditions Robinson was fifth to go in the first run. Bassino had put the early pressure on with a superb run, clocking 1.09.54. Robinson made a couple of small mistakes on the upper section of the course and finished 1.18 seconds slower than the Italian and fifth fastest overall.
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But Robinson could only clock the 24th fastest time in the second run which saw her slip down the overall standings.
However, her co-coach Chris Knight is not too disappointed with the young Kiwi's result.
"The first run was a little sluggish and the second run was going a lot better and she just couldn't quite keep up with the speed she was generating at bottom of pitch. There is some work to do but in general we are headed in right direction," Knight said.
It was an Italian one-two triumph with reigning overall women's World Cup champion Federica Brignone finishing second ahead of world champion Slovakian Petra Vlhova who had a scorching second run to improve from 10th after the first run.
Robinson won two of the six completed women's Giant Slalom races last season and despite this result looms as a strong contender for the overall GS Globe. The Queenstown skier will next compete in a Parallel slalom in Lech in Austria next month with the Giant Slalom season not resuming until Courchevel in France in mid-December. The Kiwi will also contest the nine Super G races this season.