Felix Neureuther clenches his fist after winning in Japan ©Getty Images

Felix Neureuther became the first German to win a men's Alpine Skiing World Cup race this season as he triumphed in the slalom in Yuzawa Naeba today.

The 31-year-old, a team gold medallist at the 2005 World Championships, clocked a winning time of 1min 50.93sec after his two runs in the Japanese resort.

André Myhrer gained a second podium of the season by claiming silver, 0.05 seconds back, while the bronze medal went to Austria's Marco Schwarz, 0.24 behind Neureuther.

The German was fifth fastest after run one but was aided as rain began to fall on the course, making life difficult for his rivals.

Another German, Fritz Dopfer, was quickest first up but slipped out of contention and came fourth.

"It's of course a very, very good feeling," said Neureuther.

"It was a tough race today, it started raining in the second run."

Austria's Marcel Hirscher, seeking a fifth consecutive overall World Cup title, failed to finish his first run but is still on top of the pile for this season with 1,045 points.

Norway's overall slalom leader Henrik Kristoffersen had to settle for seventh today and is second overall with 957 points, ahead of compatriot Aksel Lund Svindal who is third on 916. 

André Myhrer earned a silver medal for Sweden
André Myhrer earned a silver medal for Sweden ©Getty Images

There was frustration for the women as their World Cup downhill in Crans-Montana in Switzerland was cancelled due to the weather.

Heavy snowfall meant that lots of work was needed on the course and, in the end, conditions were so soft the safety of racers could not be guaranteed.

The race could be rescheduled for La Thuile in Italy early next week while it is hoped a slalom scheduled for tomorrow will still go ahead.

“The course presented too soft conditions today, despite a lot of hard work from the whole organising committee and the course crew,” said International Ski Federation chief race director Atle Skaardal.

“So it's a very sad day, but the safety is the most important thing and it was not possible to have a safe race today.

"That's the reason why we had to cancel.

"If you look at the amount of snow that we've had over the last days, it is obvious that it is difficult to prepare a race course under these circumstances, especially in downhill of course where the requirements are extremely high in terms of safety."

The men's season is due to return to Europe with super combined and downhill in Chamonix in France, on February 19 and 20.