France's Clement Noel held on for a first World Cup slalom gold of the season in deteriorating conditions in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
The 23-year-old laid down an outstanding first run of 49.30s, nearly half a second faster than the rest of the field, with Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen next quickest.
But the piste changed dramatically a few hours later and late starters on the second run all struggled to conquer the challenge.
Beijing 2022
Beijing 2022: How alpine downhill skiing works
Kristoffersen's second run of 58.74s was the 20th fastest in the field as many of the leading contenders saw their podium hopes fade.
In the end, Noel's 58.21 was only 13th fastest but enough to claim a relatively comfortable overall victory by 0.62s.
He led out a French one-two with Victor Muffat-Jeandet taking silver and Swiss Ramon Zenhaeusern edging out compatriot Loic Meillard to bronze.
Austria's Marco Schwarz finished seventh on the day and that was enough to wrap up the discipline's Crystal Globe - he can't be caught with only one slalom race left on the calendar.
Schwarz, who won gold in the combined at last month's World Championships, has been consistent all season long and made the podium in six of ten slalom races.
He wrested the Globe back from Kristoffersen and ensures it returns to Austria for the first time since Marcel Hirscher's retirement.
Sportsbeat 2021
Solden Takeaways: Shiffrin’s marker, close men's circuit and return of fans
Alpine Skiing
Odermatt returns to happy World Cup hunting ground to get season off to a flyer