Austrian Pertl leads world slalom, favourites lurk

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Austria's Adrian Pertl was fastest through the gates on the first run

Unheralded Austrian Adrian Pertl clocked the fastest time in the first run of the men's slalom on Sunday, the final event of the world ski championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Pertl, with just one World Cup slalom podium to his name, timed 52.24 seconds down a sun-kissed Druscie course with the rest of the top 14 all finishing within a second of the Austrian.

Italian Alex Vinatzer was second at 0.14sec, with Norwegian Sebastian Foss-Solevaag third, a further two-hundredths adrift.

Austria's Marco Schwarz, a hot pre-race favourite fresh from gold in the alpine combined and a surprise bronze in the giant slalom, sat eighth (+0.57).

French pair Clement Noel and Alexis Pinturault, both within 0.41sec of the lead time, will be in the mix for a podium spot in the second run scheduled for 1230 GMT.

Also in contention will be Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen, Swiss Daniel Yule and Sweden's Kristoffer Jakobsen.

Yule's fancied teammates Loic Meillard and Luca Aerni both skied out on the demanding course, along with two-time former world champion Jean-Baptiste Grange of France.

In a departure from normal procedure, organisers announced that rather than the top 30 going in reverse order in the second run, it shall be modified to the top 15 because of warm temperatures. Following the top 15, racers ranked 16-60 will ski down.