Petra Vlhova has won six World Cup slalom races

Flachau (Austria) (AFP) - Slovakian Petra Vlhova claimed the lead ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin after the opening run of the World Cup slalom race at Flachau on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old posted a time of 53.32 seconds in Austria to take a 0.60sec advantage.

Vlhova, who has won 11 World Cup events in her career, and Shiffrin have finished as the top two in each of the last three slaloms this season.

American star Shiffrin is bidding for her fifth victory of the campaign and 65th in total, but first of 2020.

Home hope Katharina Liensberger was 0.05sec behind Shiffrin in third place on the timesheets.

Shiffrin, bidding for a fourth straight big crystal globe, leads the overall World Cup standings by 261 points from Italian Federica Brignone, with Vlhova 52 points further adrift.

If Vlhova can secure victory in the second run, it would be the first time in over five years that Shiffrin has failed to win in successive slalom races.