BORMIO, Italy (AP) _ Sonja Nef of Switzerland won her first race of the season Saturday, edging Anja Paerson of Sweden by 0.27 seconds in a women's World Cup giant slalom.

The reigning giant slalom world and World Cup champion dominated the first run and finished in a combined 2 minutes, 24.39 seconds.

Michaela Dorfmeister of Austria placed third in 2:25.64.

Croatian sensation Janika Kostelic was in second after the first run but lost control and crashed into the safety nets close to the finish line. She was on her way to one of the fastest combined times of the race.

Kostelic was unhurt in the fall and kept a commanding lead in the World Cup overall standings, with 955 points out of 17 races.

Local favorite Karen Putzer failed to capture her third consecutive giant slalom win as she finished fourth, 1.46 seconds behind Nef.