Felix Neureuther of Germany finishes his second run to win the Men's FIS Alpine Ski World Cup slalom race in Levi, Kittilae, Finland, on November 12, 2017

Levi (Finland) (AFP) - Germany’s Felix Neureuther won the season-opening slalom in Finland on Sunday after Dave Ryding blew his chance to become the first ever Briton to win a World Cup event.

Ryding was fastest on the first run but Neureuther set a storming pace in the second run and was watching nervously as Ryding flew down the top part of the course.

The Briton was leading by over half a second two-thirds of the way down but missed a gate at full pelt to surrender his chances of victory.

Neureuther beat Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen into second by 0.37sec while Sweden’s Mattias Hargin was third at 0.45sec.

“It was just great and it’s my first win as a father too, which is unreal,” said Neureuther, who along with his partner, the world champion biathlete Miriam Goessner, recently had a daughter.

“I really didn’t think I could win here,” he added after a poised and confident performance.

“I didn’t get a World Cup win last season, but I was still one of the best at slalom,” said Neureuther, who last won in Japan in February 2016.

World champion Marcel Hirscher was 17th on his return from injury – after fracturing his ankle during training in August – as he began his pursuit of a seventh successive overall World Cup title.