Lindsey Vonn became the fifth female skier to win in all five Alpine disciplines when she claimed her maiden giant slalom victory in the opening race of the World Cup season on Saturday.

The American, who had managed just one previous podium placing in the discipline, outclassed her rivals to triumph in a combined time of two minutes 24.43 seconds.

Multiple world and Olympic champion Vonn, beaten last year for the overall World Cup crystal globe by arch-rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch, was the only contender to fully master the flat end of the Soelden glacier.

Olympic champion Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany, winner on the same course last year, had to settle for second spot in 2:24.47.

Downhill and Super-G world champion Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was third in 2:24.83.

Up and coming Italian Federica Brignone, 21, was fastest in the morning run but failed to complete the second leg.

It was Vonn's 42nd World Cup victory and gave an ominous warning to her rivals this season, especially German Hoefl-Riesch who finished a lowly 24th.

My best result here was ninth so it's a great change. It's the first giant slalom win of my career and it's hard to describe, Vonn told reporters.

I now hope to keep this momentum going. I have a lot of confidence now. I'm going to keep fighting.

Vonn lost the World Cup to Hoefl-Riesch by three points last season.