Riesch took the title by the narrowest of margins
Germany's Maria Riesch won her first overall World Cup title on Saturday after the final race of the season was cancelled because of bad weather.
Riesch held a three-point lead over second-placed Lindsey Vonn going into the last race, the giant slalom, in Lenzherheide, Switzerland.
And an unraceable course ensured Riesch denied American Vonn a fourth title in a row, with Slovenia's Tina Maze third.
Vonn said the decision "doesn't just hurt me, it hurts fans and the sport."
But she congratulated Riesch adding: "She's had an outstanding season. She's worked really hard for this."
Another German, Viktoria Rebenbsurg, took the World Cup giant slalom crown.
Riesch had led the overall standings for most of the season, arriving at the Swiss resort with a 23-point advantage.
Olympic downhill champion Vonn, though, assumed a 27-point lead by placing fourth to Riesch's non-scoring 17th position in Wednesday's downhill.
However, days of rain, wet snow and warm weather forced the cancellation of Thursday's super-G - one of Vonn's strongest disciplines.
And when Riesch finished fourth, nine places ahead of Vonn, in Friday's slalom - which was won by Maze - the 26-year-old's 1,728-point total would prove enough to pip her rival.
Vonn, who two weeks ago clinched the downhill, super-G and super combined titles, won eight races to Riesch's six this season but her narrow misses in several other races proved crucial.
It was the smallest winning margin since Anja Paerson of Sweden beat Croatia's Janica Kostelic by three points in 2005.
"It was a really tight race," reflected Riesch, a runner-up in the previous two season. "At the end you need some luck as well and I had this luck."
A statement from the International Ski Federation (FIS) explained that races were not rescheduled if they fell victim to weather because "there are no reserve days to ensure that all cancelled races will be rescheduled".
The FIS statement continued: "Officials point out that it would be unfair to reschedule one race and not another."