Carlo Janka snatched victory in dramatic fashion from home hero Gauthier De Tessieres to win the giant slalom at Val d'Isère in France.
It was the Swiss racer's first-ever win as he crossed the line in 2:22:73 overall, with Italian
Massimiliano Blardone second, just 20/100 behind and De Tessieres making the podium for the first time, in third.
On a very technical course, with the dropping sun casting long shadows, the competitors found the going tough and Alberto Schiepatti took a nasty tumble where he lost his helmet.
However, the Italian was able to leave the course unaided and then local racer De Tessieres, who had come out of the gate number one, enjoyed more than a fleeting moment in the spot-light.
The Frenchman's overall 2:23:17 was too much for Bode Miller who came haring down the first section, only to lose his rhythm and almost his balance to finish way down in 24th place.
Others would come and go, while the 27-year-old De Tessieres flashed his winning smile to the cameras.
Didier Defago failed to wipe it away and as fairytales go it was looking pretty good when Ted Ligety faded over the last section to finish back in 12th while Ivica Kostelic also found the pace too hot to handle, but was still a credible 10th.
With the light fading badly, another danger, Jean-Baptiste Grange, lost his line early on and never recovered and had to be content with 16th.
Didier Cuche looked set to snatch the lead but clipped a gate near the end to finish an agonising 08/100 behind the leader.
The pressure was building on the favourites and Marc Berthod exited high up the course while Hannes Riechelt ran out of steam in the lower section.
However, just when all thoughts were turning to a French romance, Janka left the home crowd as gloomy as the fading light, sailing ahead by 04/100.
Blardone could not wrestle the lead away from there and Aksel Lind Svindal gave everything but had to accept a fifth place finish while the leader from the first run, Manfred Moelgg could not find the same aggression again and dropped away to finish sixth.