Part of complete coverage on
Worley upstages world champion Maze in giant slalom
updated 12:03 PM EST, Thu February 14, 2013
France's Tessa Worley skis to the European nation's fourth medal of the World Championships.
- Tessa Worley wins giant slalom gold medal at the skiing World Championships
- Frenchwoman beats defending champion Tina Maze into second place
- Slovenia's Maze leads World Cup overall and giant slalom standings
- Maze set to take the title which went to American star Lindsey Vonn in 2012
(CNN) -- Defending champion Tina Maze was upstaged as Tessa Worley stormed to the gold in the women's giant slalom event at the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Schladming, Austria on Thursday.
Worley edged out the favored Slovenian by 1.12 seconds, clocking a combined time of two minutes and 8.6 seconds for her two runs to improve on her third-place finish at the 2011 event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
"How do I feel? Just amazing, it's incredible," the 23-year-old Frenchwoman told the event's official website.
"It's been hard today. It was a very tough course and I had to concentrate on myself only, letting my skis go and not do too many mistakes. My dream has just become true. It feels great!"
Read: Putin's grand ambitions for Sochi 2014
Olympian's downhill caught on body cam
How a ski is made
Putting ski tech to the test
It was France's fourth medal of the two-week championships, and second gold by a woman after Marion Rolland's shock downhill victory, leaving the European nation top of the leaderboard.
"We are having a very strong team and a great atmosphere here in Schladming," said Worley, who has an Australian father and French mother. "I am now part of the medalists."
Worley is 13th in the World Cup standings and fifth in the giant slalom rankings.
Maze heads both categories ahead of the resumption of the series in the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen next weekend, and looks destined to capture the title from U.S. star Lindsey Vonn.
Read: Vonn faces race to be fit for Sochi
Vonn had surgery on torn ligaments earlier this week following a crash right at the start of the world championships and is now battling to be fit for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Maze admitted it had been a difficult day, although she did take consolation from her second run as she added to her gold in the super-G race and silver in the super-combined.
"Today was really hard for me," said the 29-year-old. "I didn't race too good in the first run, my second run was amazing, though. I am really appreciating this silver medal today."
The bronze medal went to Austria's Anna Fenninger, who beat off competition from compatriot Kathrin Zettel -- extending the host nation's wait for a first individual gold of the competition, having won only Tuesday's mixed teams event.
Read: Ligety claims second gold at worlds
Fenninger was relieved to have won her first medal of the championships, having claimed super-combined gold in 2011.
"I went back home to tank some energy, it was an excellent move," the 23-year-old said. "I didn't believe in my chances for that race and I was able to forget about the past races here and start everything from scratch again today. I'm very satisfied to get that medal now."
The final event in the women's schedule will be Saturday's slalom, in which American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin leads the World Cup standings ahead of Maze.
Shiffrin's compatriot Ted Ligety will be seeking his third gold of the championships as he bids to defend his giant slalom title on Friday, and the men's program concludes with Sunday's slalom race.
Part of complete coverage on
"Jamaica, we have a bobsled team," cried the Hollywood film that immortalized an unlikely quartet of Winter Olympians who became a worldwide hit.
updated 1:25 PM EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
CNN's Christina Macfarlane speaks with World Cup skiing champion Marcel Hirscher about clinching his second successive overall title.
updated 1:00 PM EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
Alpine Edge's Christina Macfarlane reports on the U.S. ski team's remarkable success at the World Cup finals in Switzerland.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed March 13, 2013
Injured U.S. star Lindsey Vonn claims a record sixth successive downhill title after the final race of the World Cup season is hit by fog.
updated 8:31 AM EST, Mon March 4, 2013
Whether it's breaking records on the piste, or making hit records in the studio, Tina Maze is determined to do things her way.
updated 9:20 AM EST, Fri March 1, 2013
He is one of the greatest skiers of all time, the winner of every major prize, but when Alberto Tomba looks back on his career he feels one regret.
updated 6:56 AM EST, Mon February 25, 2013
From over 50 years of 007, the most iconic James Bond scene of all time is arguably the opening skiing sequence in "The Spy Who Loved Me."
updated 12:55 PM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
Olympic and world champion Ted Ligety loosens up his body before throwing himself down the mountain.
updated 12:51 PM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
CNN's Christina MacFarlane visits Schladming ski resort where investment has bucked the trend of austerity.
updated 6:59 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
The snow-covered mountains tower above the sub-tropical beach, but what sets Sochi apart is its sheer scale of concrete and steel.
updated 12:50 PM EST, Mon January 28, 2013
CNN's Christina Macfarlane meets Norway's World Cup skiing star Aksel Lund Svindal.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Fri January 25, 2013
Franz Klammer had few relationship issues with the fearsome mountain run that all skiers want to conquer.
updated 9:42 AM EST, Mon January 28, 2013
CNN's Christina Macfarlane tests the latest ski technology, including a leading brand's new GPS goggles.
updated 6:49 AM EST, Mon January 21, 2013
CNN's Christina MacFarlane visits the oldest ski factory in the world, Rossignol.
updated 6:53 AM EST, Mon January 21, 2013
Safety specialists at Wengen work on-piste can make the difference between life and death for ski racers.
updated 9:30 AM EST, Thu January 17, 2013
World Cup alpine skier Ivica Kostelic talks to CNN's Alpine Edge series about his sister Janica's influence on his career.
updated 11:42 AM EST, Mon January 14, 2013
As the winter sports season reaches its peak in Europe and North America so the toll of deaths and injuries will surely mount.
updated 9:04 AM EST, Thu January 10, 2013
We love the glamor of alpine racing, but do we love it enough to keep watching when skiing's "dark side" is so much more on the edge?
updated 8:08 AM EST, Wed December 19, 2012
"Mittens don't clap," is how California-based cowbell importer Elisabeth Halvorson explains it.
updated 11:26 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
CNN's Alpine Edge takes a pictorial look at the career of champion Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.
updated 8:00 AM EST, Wed December 19, 2012
Buried deep in the French Alps, a tiny 11th-century village has produced some of the most successful -- and wild-spirited -- skiers in racing history.
updated 11:20 AM EST, Thu December 13, 2012
With the European leg of the Skiing World Cup in full swing, CNN's Alpine Edge takes you inside five of the continent's most high-profile locations.