Aksel Lund Svindal all but conceded the men's overall title to Marcel Hirscher on Thursday after failing to score points in the super-G at the alpine World Cup finals.
Alexis Pinturault of France was the surprise winner of the race at Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Hirscher placed 12th in a rare super-G start as Svindal — who already won the season-long discipline title — finished 16th, trailing 2.16 seconds behind Pinturault.
Hirscher, the two-time defending overall champion, earned 22 points and now trails Svindal by only 19 with his best events to come.
"It's over in the sense that up until today I could win it," said Svindal, another two-time champion who bowed his head toward his skis when seeing his time in the finish area. "And now he can only lose it."
Hirscher was hugged by his Austrian teammates when Svindal cross the line.
"I'm nearly shocked. Me before Aksel, Aksel no points. That is crazy," said Hirscher, who is favoured to score heavily in the season-ending giant slalom and slalom races this weekend.
In a race of surprises, Pinturault's victory as the last racer denied unheralded teammate Thomas Mermillod Blondin an even more stunning win. Pinturault mostly skips the super-G but won in 1 minute, 13.71 seconds to beat Mermillod Blondin by 0.56.
Bode Miller of the United States was a further one-hundredth back in third, repeating his bronze-medal placing in super-G at the Sochi Olympics. Ted Ligety of the United States was fifth, following up his runner-up spot in the downhill on Wednesday.
Erik Guay of Mont-Tremblant was 17th but had already locked up third place in the overall standings despite persistent knee issues. Guay finished 21st in the super-G standings.
Manuel Osborne- Paradis of North Vancouver, B.C., did not finish his run and wound up 27th in the season super-G standings.
Calgary's Jan Hudec, the Olympic bronze medallist, finished the super-G season as the top Canadian, in 11th place, despite skipping the final race due to a back injury.