On a slope designed by Anja Paerson's father Run2 of the opening race of the ski season in Soelden was played out under bright sunshine and did not disappoint.
Of the thirty athletes competing in the final run, the early pace setter was the British skier Chemmy Alcott, who came down third and held onto the lead until Kathrin Hoelzl, from Germany, snatched it away from her a full 17 starts later.
Alcott's time in the second run was in fact the fastest and allowed her to finish the race in 10th place, her best ever result in GS.
Hoelzl's lead didn't last long and she finished the race in a very respectable 8th place.
The lead changed constantly thereafter, with Pietilae-Holmner first taking top spot, followed by Andrea Fischbacher. The Swede finished the day in 6th place but the Austrian came away with an excellent third, making it now a total of 5 podiums in GS.
World Champion in the discipline from last season and race favourite, Denise Karbon, put down a relatively slow run and finished just out of the podium places in 4th place.
The second step of the podium went to the leader of the first run, the Finn Tanja Poutinainen, who despite putting down the slowest second time of the top ten, still finished with a margin of half a second over Fischbacher.
Winner of the day was the Austrian Kathrin Zettel, a third place finisher here last season, who was the only athlete able to match Alcott's time (both had equal times for the second run) and took the victory with an astonishing advantage, over a second faster than Poutiainen.
Excellent results also for Lara Gut, the 17-year-old Swiss athlete, who finished 5th, and speed specialist Lindsey Vonn, 9th.
Disappointing results for Anja Paerson, who ended the day in 7th place, Maria Riesch, 13th, Olympic champion in the discipline Julia Mancuso, 17th, last season's runner up Elisabeth Goergl, 20th and other race favourite Nicole Hosp who finished last after a bad mistake.