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Hoefl-Riesch wins slalom, Vonn skis out in Sweden

By Oliver Grassman

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 9:45 a.m. MST

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, center, celebrates after winning an alpine ski, women's World Cup slalom, flanked by second placed Veronika Zuzulova, of Slovakia, left, and third placed Canada's Marie-Michele Gagnon, in Are, Sweden, Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Alessandro Trovati, Associated Press

ARE, Sweden — Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany won a World Cup slalom on Saturday, while overall champion Lindsey Vonn skied out during her second run.

Hoefl-Riesch edged Veronika Zuzulova of Slovakia by just one hundredth of a second. She finished in 1 minute, 49.85 seconds to win the 23rd World Cup race of her career. Canadian Marie-Michele Gagnon was third.

"With one hundreth, you can't say it's better or worse. Sometimes you need some luck," Hoefl-Riesch said. "I think I won this race in the middle. I risked a lot there and made up a lot on the time."

Vonn was 15th after the first run. She skidded out on the last third of the course, failing to improve on her 1,808 overall points. The American is bidding to become the first female skier to break 2,000 points in one season.

On Friday, Vonn became the first American to clinch four overall World Cup titles by winning a giant slalom race.

Four races worth a total 400 points remain at the finals in Schladming, Austria.

Hoefl-Schild won her third World Cup race win this season. She won a downhill race last month in Sochi, Russia, and a super-combined race in January in St Moritz.

Hoefl-Riesch won the World Cup overall title last season, finishing just three points ahead of Vonn when the final race was canceled because of soft snow.

"Last season, everything was perfect. I was consistent from beginning to end and I had something like 16 or 18 podiums. This year, I went out so many times," she said. "It's special to win a slalom this year, especially with Marlies Schild being almost unbeatable."

Schild, who had already secured the slalom World Cup title for the fourth time in her career this season, tied for sixth place with Swede Frida Hansdotter, 0.29 behind the winner.

World champion Schild, a winner of six slalom races this season, was bidding to equal Swiss Vreni Schneider's record of 34 slalom World Cup wins.

American 16-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin was fourth after the first run. But she had a slower second run and finished tied for ninth with Swede Anna Swenn-Larsson. The pair finished 0.39 behind Hoefl-Riesch.

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