Lizzy Yarnold edged Noelle Pikus-Pace in the latest installment in what’s become a head-to-head battle atop women’s skeleton in Igls, Austria, on Friday.
The Brit Yarnold won in a two-run time of 1 minute, 49.04 seconds. Pikus-Pace finished .32 behind, followed by a tie for third between Austrian Janine Flock and Russian Maria Orlova.
Igls marked the final event before the U.S. Olympic Team is slated to be named Saturday.
The team will include two women, and they will almost surely be Pikus-Pace and Katie Uhlaender, the same U.S. sliders from the Vancouver Olympics. Pikus-Pace was fourth in 2010; Uhlaender was 11th.
The race for gold in Sochi appears to be between Yarnold and Pikus-Pace with the retirement of 2010 Olympic champion Amy Williams of Great Britain.
Yarnold and Pikus-Pace have combined to win all seven World Cup races this season. Pikus-Pace had the fastest time in the first three World Cups (disqualified in the first one), while Yarnold has been the best in three of the last four.
“This has been such a fun battle, going back and forth every race,” Pikus-Pace said. “Well done to Lizzy.”
Uhlaender, the 2012 world champion, has a best finish of sixth this season while recovering from a concussion. She was 12th on Friday.
There is one more World Cup before the Olympics, next week in Konigssee, Germany.
In other news, Pikus-Pace’s daughter took her first skeleton run this week and another right after the race Friday, while Pikus-Pace was on the podium.
Lacee then spoke to the BBC. Give it a listen below the photo.
Igls Women’s Skeleton
1. Lizzy Yarnold (GBR) 1:49.04
2. Noelle Pikus-Pace (USA) 1:49.36
3. Janine Flock (AUT) 1:49.71
3. Maria Orlova (RUS) 1:49.71
12. Katie Uhlaender (USA) 1:50.30