Switzerland's Sandro Viletta saw the competition fall by the wayside as he claimed a surprise gold medal in the Winter Olympics super combined.
The 28-year-old had been lying 14th after the downhill stage but conquered a difficult slalom course in a time of 50.32 seconds to set his rivals a target of two minutes 45.20 secs.
Bode Miller and Aksel Lund Svindal failed to pass the figure, while Kjetil Jansrud, the leader after the downhill stage, also came up short to leave Viletta celebrating at the finish line.
Croatia's Ivica Costelic, whose father Ante had set the slalom course, took the silver medal with a combined time of 2:45.54, with Italian Christof Innerhofer adding a bronze medal to the silver he won in the downhill.
Viletta said afterwards: ''The race today was just amazing. At the moment, I can't believe this is true. The first time I thought I could have a medal was when Ivica was down. Now it's gold.''
Dario Cologna retained his men's 15km cross country gold medal in Sochi, the Swiss sauntering to the title by nearly half a minute to claim his second gold at these Games, having also topped the podium in the 30km skiathlon.
A time of 38minutes, 29.7seconds was enough to seal victory, with Johan Olsson earning silver after finishing 28.5secs adrift. Fellow Swede Daniel Richardsson was a further 10.3secs back, settling for bronze.
Darya Domracheva also stormed to a second gold medal in Sochi in the women's 15km individual biathlon.
The 27-year-old Belarusian, who claimed the Olympic title in the 10km pursuit on Tuesday, raced round the course in a time of 43 minutes 19.6 seconds to finish 1 min 15.7 secs ahead of Switzerland's Selina Gasparin.
Nadezhda Skardino rounded off the podium positions, crossing the line 1:38.2 behind compatriot Domracheva.
Lizzy Yarnold kept her nerve to claim gold for Great Britain in the mountains above Rosa Khutor.
The 25-year-old smashed the track record in her third run to move over three quarters of a second clear of her American rival Noelle Pikus-Pace.
And she clocked 58.09 seconds on her fourth and final run to win by 0.97secs from Pikus-Pace with a combined time of three minutes 52.89secs.
Pikus-Pace took the silver and Russia's Elena Nikitina the bronze.
Alla Tsuper saved her best jump to last en route to winning the women's freestyle skiing aerials gold medal.
The 34-year-old recorded a score 98.01 in the third final ahead of China's Xu Mengtao (83.50) and defending champion Lydia Lassila of Australia (72.12).
Japanese teenager Yuzuru Hanyu captured Winter Olympic gold in the men's figure skating competition despite falling twice in his final routine at the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi.
The 19-year-old notched a world record score of 101.45 to lead after the short programme on Thursday night, but two early mistakes in his free skating routine looked like it might cost him dearly.
Canada's Patrick Chan, next on the ice, was set to take advantage but the three-times world champion fell once and also stumbled during a nervy routine which left him with silver, as Denis Ten of Kazakhstan finished with a bronze.
The men's ice hockey qualifying continued with defending champions Canada hammering Austria 6-0. The other Group B encounter saw Finland rout neighbouring Norway 5-0, while in Group C the Czech Republic were 4-2 winners over Latvia and Sweden edged out Switzerland 1-0.
The curling round-robin stage is gathering pace after the latest set of matches with China, Great Britain and Sweden tied at the top of the men's standings after victories on Friday.
Canada were not in action in the women's event but continue to head the table ahead of defending champions Sweden, with China and Great Britain now joint third following respective wins over South Korea and Japan.
Austria's Michael Hayboeck topped the scoreboard in qualifying for the men's large hill event, with the final set to take place on Saturday.