By Liam Morgan

The French team claimed a surprise mens open relay victory as they beat defending champions Russia in Cable ©Getty ImagesFrance claimed a shock men's 4x2.5 kilometres open relay victory as they beat reigning champions Russia on the final day of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Championships at Cable.

The French team, comprised of Benjamin Daviet, Anthony Chalencon, Lucas Duperrex and Thomas Clarion, took gold in a time of 27min 10.6secs to finish 20.1 seconds ahead of the highly-fancied Russian quartet.

Sit-skiers Grigory Murygin and Roman Petushkov alongside standing skiers Vladislav Lekomtcev and Rushan Minnegulov clinched silver, while the Ukranian outfit rounded off the podium to take bronze.

The Ukranian team, made up of Iurii Utkin and guide Vitalii Kazakov, Ihor Reptyukh, Maksym Yarovyi and Iaroslav Reshetynskiy with guide Artur Gergardt, led for the opening two legs before the French fought back to seal a surprise win.

"I [started] very strong," Frenchman Daviet said.

"I tried to stay with the first skiers and I finished with all I have - my best."

Russia did have some success as the event drew to a close as they clinched the mixed relay gold.

The Russian quartet of Natalia Kocherova, Alexey Bychenok, Elena Remizova and guide Maksim Pirogov, and Stanislav Chokhlaev with guide Evgenii Fatkhullin, left it late before they stormed to victory on the last leg, finishing in a time of 29:47.5.

Elena Remizova helped Russia claim one of the two golds available as they won the mixed relay event ©Getty ImagesElena Remizova helped Russia claim one of the two golds available as they won the mixed relay event ©Getty Images

The imperious Oleksandra Kononova, winner of six individual golds at the event, had to settle for silver alongside her Ukraine teammates Anatolii Kovalevskiy, guided by Oleksandr Mukshyn and Liudmyla Liashenko.

Ukraine did lead after both the second and third splits before they were eventually caught by the Russians, and Norway, comprised of sit-skier Mariann Marthinsen, standing athlete Nils-Erik Ulset and the duo of Eirik Bye and Kristian Myhre Hellerud, came through to secure the final podium spot.

"We were hoping to be on the podium and everybody on the team did a good job," Ulset said.

"You have more [classes] competing for the same medal today.

"It's something else when you compete [for] the same medals so that's fun."

Russia unsurprisingly topped the medal table with a haul of 55 medals, including 24 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze, while Ukraine's total of 30 medals saw them finish second.

Germany rounded off the top three thanks to six medals, three gold and three bronze, and host nation United States finished will four silver and three bronze.

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