Denise Karbon makes it a fab four [GALLO/GETTY]
Denise Karbon continued her impressive start to the World Cup season when she won her fourth successive Alpine skiing giant slalom.

Karbon is one victory short of compatriot Deborah Compagnoni's feat 10 years ago, when the Italian won the first five giant slaloms of the winter.

The 27-year-old policewoman was put under pressure by Finn Tanja Poutiainen, who finally had to settle for second place, 0.39 seconds off the pace.

"It's another surprise, but the way I handled both runs shows the level I've reached this season," Karbon said.

"I'm strong and I stay strong. It makes me even more eager to compete in the next races," she added.

It was the third podium place of the season for Olympic silver medallist Poutiainen, who was 0.10 adrift after the first leg.

"At least I managed to ski two good runs. It was close but Karbon is too strong for me right now. But I can feel that victory is nearing," she said.

Elisabeth Goergl confirmed she was the best Austrian specialist in the discipline by taking third place, a further 0.20 seconds behind.

"At last I managed to ski well in the second run. It's a good thing and to start 2008 on a podium is ideal," said Goergl, who added she had been inspired by her brother Stephan, fastest in the first leg of a men's giant slalom in Adelboden.

However, he finished 19th after a poor second run.

Goergl's third place avoided another debacle for the Austrian team, even if five of them made it into the top 10.

World champion Nicole Hosp, who has yet to win a giant slalom this season, was a disappointing fifth, while Marlies Schild finished last on the first leg after missing a gate.

Winner of nine of the last 12 World Cup slaloms, Benny Raich's girlfriend is struggling with her form.

In Lienz last week, she finished 24th in a giant slalom and failed to finish a slalom.

Source: Agencies