CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Reuters) - Frenchman Alexis Pinturault took a commanding lead in the first leg of the men's giant slalom at the alpine skiing world championships on Friday, leading by close to half a second.
Making a tricky course, set by his own coach, look easy Pinturault did not put a ski out of place as he clocked 1:17.55, 0.4 seconds quicker than Luca De Aliprandini.
Germany's Alexander Schmid was third fastest, 0.56 seconds off Pinturault's pace.
Pinturault's team mate Mathieu Faivre was the only other skier to get inside one second of his time, finishing the first leg in fourth place, 0.58 seconds behind.
The 29-year-old Pinturault, who has won only one individual world championships title, finished a narrow second in the combined and was third in the super-G during the Cortina championships which conclude this weekend.
"I tried to be on the attack but it was not easy to start early, it was very very icy," Pinturault said.
"We can see that with the sun the course is getting better and some athletes can regain time in the second part."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)