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WINTER ROUNDUP

Winter roundup: Pikus-Pace wins last World Cup skeleton race

Noelle Pikus-Pace celebrated Friday after winning the women's skeleton World Cup event in Koenigssee, Germany.

Tobias Hase/EPA

Noelle Pikus-Pace celebrated Friday after winning the women's skeleton World Cup event in Koenigssee, Germany.

 American Noelle Pikus-Pace won the final World Cup skeleton race of her career Friday in Konigssee, Germany, her fourth victory of the season.

Pikus-Pace’s time was 52.92 seconds, 0.44 seconds ahead of Janine Flock of Austria and a half-second up on Shelley Rudman of Britain. Snow forced the cancellation of the second heat.

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Elizabeth Yarnold of Britain finished ninth, clinching the overall World Cup title. She finished 152 points ahead of Pikus-Pace in the standings, benefiting from the American’s disqualification and loss of 225 points in the opening race of the year after British officials complained about the way tape was applied to one of Pikus-Pace’s sled handles.

Pikus-Pace is retiring after next month’s Sochi Olympics, where she will be a medal favorite.

Women’s downhill — Overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch won a shortened downhill in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, to take full command of the discipline ranks that Lindsey Vonn dominated for the past six years.

Hoefl-Riesch also established herself as the favorite to take the injured Vonn’s title in the women’s downhill at the Sochi Olympics on Feb. 12.

The German won in 1 minute, 17.84 seconds for the 27th World Cup victory of her career.

Fifth-place American finisher Stacey Cook missed out on the podium by 0.03 seconds.

Men’s slalom — Felix Neureuther of Germany won the slalom of the classic Hahnenkamm event in the heavy snow of Kitzbuehel, Austria, in a repeat of his first World Cup victory there four years ago.

Neureuther triumphed in front of 22,000 spectators after first-run leader Marcel Hirscher failed to finish.

The defending overall champion from Austria led Neureuther by 0.38 seconds after the first run but straddled a gate in the second.

It was Neureuther’s third win of the season and eighth overall. His second win in Kitzbuehel came 35 years after his father Christian also won here.

Neureuther avoided mistakes in his second run and finished in 1 minute, 53.23 seconds.

Hirscher remained top of the slalom standings with 340 points, with second-place Neureuther closing the gap to 30 points.

Ted Ligety of the United States placed 15th, 2.16 off the pace. Fellow American Nolan Kasper lost a pole when he tried to clean his goggles during the final part of his first run. He still completed the final gates in finishing 18th.

X Games — Gold medals in snowboardcross at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., went to a pair of familiar faces: Lindsey Jacobellis and Nate Holland.

It is the perfect way to head over to Sochi, where both will be on the US Olympic team.

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