Dominik Paris made it back-to-back downhill wins in Saturday's FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup meet in Kvitfjell to set up a thrilling finale in the discipline next week.
The Italian - winner of last month's race in Chamonix - recorded a time of one minute and 45.98 seconds on the Norwegian slopes to claim the maximum 100 points.
It was enough to edge surprise runner-up Valentin Giraud Moine by 0.20secs, while American Steven Nyman rounded off the podium.
Aksel Lund Svindal is still top of the downhill standings, but a serious knee sustained in January means he is highly unlikely to clinch the globe.
Italian Peter Fill is level on points with Svindal on 436 but he could only place 10th in Kvitfjell, allowing Paris to gain crucial ground.
Paris is now just four points off the top, while Norway's Kjetil Jansrud - who was fifth in front of a partisan home crowd - is not out of the running and is 54 points adrift in fourth.
It is now all to play for in the final week of the World Cup in St Moritz next week, with the men's downhill race scheduled for Wednesday.