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Austria's Nicole Hosp led in the super-combined Sunday in Altenmarkt, after a smashing first round super-G that put her ahead of Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather and fellow Austrian Anna Fenninger.
The combined world bronze medallist and former overall World Cup winner finished with a time of 1min 13.14sec, with a second run slalom still to go.
Weirather was 0.39sec off Hosp, with Fenninger -- second in Saturday's downhill here and current overall World Cup winner -- at 0.59sec.
Super-combined results are tallied from one super-G or downhill run and one slalom run, requiring the athletes to master the skills needed for both speed and technical events.
Favourite Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, the reigning world and Olympic champion in the discipline, finished 10th, 0.92sec behind Hosp.
Slovenia's Tina Maze led at the top of the course but a mistake caused her to lose half a second and she was sixth after the first race.
Hosp, 30, has only scored one podium this season but she has made it into the top three in every super-combined World Cup race in the past two years.
Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden of Switzerland had initially been credited with the fourth fastest time before being disqualified for having used skis of irregular width.
The race had to be temporarily interrupted due to fog on the course.
A tricky gate meanwhile caused the exit of US skier Julia Mancuso and Italy's Elena Curtoni, while Daniela Merighetti laid down too far in a bend and slid out.
In all, 19 skiers failed to finish the narrow Kaelberloch course which snaked between the trees over 1,900 metres (6,233 feet).
Italian Elena Fanchini did not start following a severe crash in the downhill on Saturday.
This is the first of just two super-combined races this World Cup season and the only one before the Olympics next month, providing a crucial test for the skiers ahead of Sochi.
The slalom kicks off at 12:30pm (1130GMT).