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Canada's Ricker wins gold at snowboard cross World Cup event

The Canadian Press

3/14/2012 12:54:29 PM

VALMALENCO, Italy -- Maelle Ricker of West Vancouver, B.C., won a snowboard cross World Cup event Wednesday to close the gap in the race for the overall title.

Ricker held off Bulgaria's Alexandra Jekova and France's Nelly Moenne Loccoz to earn her second straight World Cup win.

"It was like the perfect day," said Ricker. "The snow was soft but it was still fast. It was a really good final with all the girls. So, there is nothing to complain about."

The victory with one race left moved Ricker within 110 points of teammate and overall leader Dominique Maltais of Petite-Riviere-Saint-Francois, Que., who finished fourth Wednesday.

"I guess the (crystal) globe is now in my mind," said Ricker. "I didn't think I was going to be close like this before the race. But now, the race on Friday is just more exciting."

In men's action, Norway's Stian Sivertzen took gold ahead of American Alex Tuttle and Tony Ramon of France.