French skier Alexis Pinturault held his nerve to produce a flawless second run for a narrow win on hardening snow at the World Cup giant slalom at Garmisch-Partenkirchen on Sunday.
Pinturault had been fourth in a tight field just 0.18sec off the pace-setter Loic Meillard after the first run, but as his rivals faltered the Frenchman thrived.
"It was really tight and difficult to handle this snow but I really pushed it and it paid off," the 28-year-old explained.
Switzerland's Meillard ended with a combined time just 0.16sec off the pace in second with Norwegian Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen in third at 0.24.
The result sees Pinturault climb to second on 822 points in the overall race for the World Cup title with Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen top on 877.
Kristoffersen finished seventh on Sunday after a poor second run.
"What really counts is the wins, not the points," Pinturault said. This was the 27th World Cup win of his career and his 13th in the giant slalom.
"And this was a fabulous win. I started the season well with the win at Soelden and then got sick, which hurt my technique."
Pinturault is third in the giant slalom discipline standings on 272 points. Slovenia's Zan Kranjec is top on 315 with Kristoffersen second on 289.