Julie Parisien shook off the best shots that Europe's top skiers could throw at her and streaked to victory today in a women's giant slalom, giving the United States its first World Cup victory in four years.
Parisien, 19, born in Montreal and raised in Auburn, Maine, held a slim lead of .08 seconds over Austria's Ulrike Maier after the morning run, with the dangerous Vreni Schneider, the top woman giant slalom skier in history, lurking only .94 seconds back.But neither had the power to deny Parisien her first World Cup victory. The teen-ager, who put up a career-best fifth-place finish only last week in a GS at Vail, Colo., was simply devastating in the afternoon run.
Shaking off any hint of nerves, she cruised through 40 gates in 59.16 seconds for a combined time of 1 minute, 58.47 seconds. She built her margin over Maier to .84 seconds and beat Schneider, the season GS champion for the fourth time, by a healthy 1.92 seconds.
Parisien's pace was so hot, in fact, that only Maier and third-place Julie Lunde Hansen of Norway were able to finish within a second of her.