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Vonn, Riesch Face Giant Slalom Tomorrow to Pick World Cup Champ

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. and Maria Riesch of Germany are separated by three points in the overall standings with one event remaining in skiing’s World Cup season.

A giant slalom is scheduled for tomorrow in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. The margin between Vonn, the three-time defending overall champion, and Riesch is small enough that whichever skier beats the other in that race will almost certainly win the overall title.

Riesch has 1,728 points for the season, which started almost half a year ago. Vonn has 1,725 points.

“It simply doesn’t get tighter than this: five months, 18,000 miles, 12 countries and 20 resorts and some 50 miles of race course, and it’s likely going to come down to hundredths of a second,” Steve Porino, a commentator for NBC’s Universal Sports, said in a news release. “It’s madness.”

Riesch, 26, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, took a three-point lead over Vonn today by finishing fourth in a slalom, nine spots ahead of the American. Vonn, 26, who has clinched the women’s downhill title for the fourth consecutive year, had opened a 27-point lead on Riesch in the overall standings on March 16.

The weather may prevent tomorrow’s race from being held. Rain and warm weather canceled the men’s giant slalom today. If the women’s race is canceled, Riesch will win the overall title.

With the cancellation of the men’s race, American Ted Ligety won his third World Cup giant slalom title. Ligety won the combined event gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

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