Brignone leads downhill leg of WCup Alpine combined event

CRANS-MONTANA, Switzerland (AP) — Federica Brignone was fastest in the downhill leg of a World Cup Alpine combined event Sunday, seeking victory for the third straight year at Crans-Montana.

Brignone was 0.37 seconds faster than Priska Nufer in spring-like soft snow as sunshine heated the south-facing Mont Lachaux course.

Nina Ortlieb, the daughter of 1992 Albertville Olympics downhill champion Patrick Ortlieb, trails Brignone by 0.43 in third.

Ragnhild Mowinckel, who took bronze in combined at the world championships this month, was fourth with 0.48 to make up in the afternoon slalom.

Two-time world champion Wendy Holdener, a slalom specialist, was 1.47 back in 11th.

The lineup was missing Olympic champion Michelle Gisin, who had season-ending knee surgery last month, and Mikaela Shiffrin, the World Cup overall standings leader, who is taking a two-week break after the worlds.