By Nick Butler

Brian McKeever has been in stunning form in recent months ahead of Sochi 2014 ©Pam Doyle/IPCJanuary 17 - Canada's Brian McKeever underlined his dominance as he notched a second successive World Cup victory on the opening day of Para Nordic skiing action at Oberstdorf in Germany.

McKeever, a seven-time Paralympic gold medallist, is also a double reigning world champion and is a leading contender to represent Canada in the Olympics at Sochi 2014, as well as the Paralympics. 

Along with guide Eric Carleton, he continued his dominance in Germany by winning the long distance 15 kilometres race in 49min 27.03sec.

More than 30 seconds behind was middle distance world champion Nikolay Polukhin, while the podium was completed by the Russian's team-mate Stanislav Choklaev.

McKeever was joined in the winners club by former 15km sit-ski world champion teammate Chris Klebl, who won in 36:52.6 ahead of Ukraine's Maksim Yarovyi, while reigning long distance world champion Roman Petushkov could manage only third.

Chris Klebl was another Canadian athlete to enjoy success in Germany as the 2010 Paralympic hosts build well towards Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesChris Klebl was another Canadian athlete to enjoy success in Germany as the 2010 Paralympic hosts build well towards Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

On a day of surprising results, Norway's current world number one Mariann Marthinsen could only finish in fourth place in the women's 12km sit-ski race, victory going instead to Germany's Andrea Eskau.

Ukraine's Lyudmyla Pavlenko and United States London 2012 rowing medallist Oksana Masters finished second and third respectably.

There was another surprise in the women's standing race with Ukraine's world champion Iuliia Batenkova finishing third behind teammate Oleksandra Kononova and Russia's Anna Milenina as current world number one Alena Kaufman finished a disappointing sixth.

Elsewhere, Russia's Rushan Minnegulov edged out Ukraine's middle distance biathlon world champion Ihor Reptyukh to win the men's standing class while, in the absence of five-time world champion Mikhalina Lysova, it was left to another Russian, world number one Elena Remizova, to win the women's visually impaired race.

Cross-country races are due continue tomorrow with sprint freestyle events before the action concludes on Sunday (January 19) with the middle distance disciplines.

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