Limbacher, Oehling Norberg win ski cross World Cup races

SAN CANDIDO, Italy (AP) World champion Andrea Limbacher of Austria won a thrilling ski cross race on Sunday for her first World Cup victory in nearly three years, while Victor Oehling Norberg continued his recovery from injury to triumph in the men's event.

The lead was exchanged several times in the women's race before Limbacher took control. Kelsey Serwa of Canada edged out France's Alizee Baron for second in one of nine photo finishes on the day.

''It's so awesome to race here,'' Limbacher said. ''It's so much fun. I'm so happy I was able to make those passes in the final and get the victory here. I was in a good battle with Kelsey and Alizee there.''

Anna Holmund of Sweden finished fourth but remained comfortable atop the standings, with a lead of nearly 150 points clear of Baron.

Olympic champion Jean-Frederic Chapuis of France was second in the men's race, to take over the lead in the standings from Christopher Del Bosco, who slipped to third – behind his Canadian teammate Brady Leman.

Sylvain Miaillier of France finished third on the day, ahead of Switzerland's Alex Fiva.

Oehling Norberg was forced to withdraw from the season's first event in Montafon due to serious back spasms and then missed the next two races in Val Thorens as he recovered. He was only 17th in Saturday's race.

''It's been tough, for sure,''Oehling Norberg said. ''In Montafon after I hurt my back I was almost thinking about quitting this, thinking I'm getting so tired of this back problem and I just want to be healthy. But I got the best support I've ever had, such good training to get my back better for this race, and to win is an unbelievable feeling.

''Once I got out front I just knew, `They're coming for me, they're coming for me,' and I just tried to ski as fast as I could. But in the middle of the course all of a sudden I couldn't hear anything behind me. I wanted to turn and look but instead I just kept it pointed.''