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2010 Winter Olympics: Rebensburg takes surprise giant slalom gold

WHISTLER, British Columbia — Unheralded Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany took a surprise victory in the Olympic giant slalom Thursday, with the first-run leaders slowed by dense fog.

Rebensburg, who had never won a major race, clocked a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 27.11 seconds down Franz's GS.

Tina Maze of Slovenia was second, 0.12 seconds behind, matching her result in super-G, and first-run leader Elisabeth Goergl of Austria added another bronze, 0.49 back, duplicating her downhill finish.

The 20-year-old Rebensburg stood only sixth after the opening leg.

Defending champion Julia Mancuso of Squaw Valley, Calif., who was 18th after the first run, finished eighth.

The first run of the race was held Wednesday, but dense fog forced organizers to postpone the second leg for a day.

There was more fog Thursday, and it got worse just after Rebensburg's run.

Rebensburg's best previous result was second in the last World Cup GS before the Vancouver Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Before that, she had never finished on the podium.

Like the first leg Wednesday, organizers again rushed to get the race in, sending down racers at 60- and 75-second intervals — meaning there were often two skiers on the course at a time — and abandoning TV breaks before the first 30 racers came down and the medals were decided.

The short intervals created problems in the first leg, with Mancuso's first trip down interrupted because teammate Lindsey Vonn crashed out immediately ahead of her — breaking her right pinkie.

Mancuso had to be brought back up for another try but couldn't match the speed of her aborted run. She had the third-fastest second run to move up 10 spots in the final standings.

The race was briefly interrupted after 18 skiers came down due to an apparent timing equipment problem.