Chorley’s Dave Ryding crashed out with gold at his mercy as his bid to become Britain’s first alpine skiing World Cup winner came to an agonising end in Finland.
The 30-year-old had led at the halfway stage of the season-opener in Levi as he looked to go one better than the silver medal he claimed in Kitzbuhel in January.
But having extended his lead to more than half a second midway down his second run, he missed a gate which shattered his hopes of making history.
Germany’s Felix Neureuther, who had trailed Ryding by 0.14 seconds after the first run, took victory with Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen in second.
Ryding was visibly frustrated at his mistake but can take much solace from a performance which underlines his status as one of the leading challengers in his sport.
The Pendle racer’s silver in Kitzbuhel had made him the first British skier to reach a World Cup podium since Konrad Bartelski in Val Gardena in 1981. “It wasn’t the best of days overall, but I have to take some positives from my performance,” he said. “It is a shame not to come away with some points, but sometimes slalom can be cruel.”