Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller set a new Oberhof track record to claim a potentially pivotal doubles victory in the Luge World Cup.
On a landmark day in Germany, the dominant Felix Loch also wrote his name into the Oberhof history books with a track record on his first run in the singles - which set him on his way to an eighth win in nine races this season.
While the destination of the singles title now appears beyond doubt, the doubles remains up for grabs - which made this a particularly useful time to turn on the style.
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Steu and Koller did just that on their second run, speeding home in a track record 40.792 to finish in a time of 1:21.682 before an anxious wait to see if they would be overhauled.
Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, fastest on the first run, started with a sizeable advantage over their Austrian rivals but could not match the record-breaking pair second time round and finished in an overall time of 1:21.691 - nine-thousandths of a second behind Steu and Koller.
Latvia's Sics brothers, Andris and Juris, took third in 1:21.698, meaning no podium place for reigning World Cup champions Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, who finished fourth.
Steu and Koller won the first three races of this season but this was their first success of 2021 and it has opened up a 96-point advantage over Eggert and Benecken in the overall doubles standings, with Wendl and Arlt occupying third spot.
Earlier in the day, Loch's track record time of 42.673 seconds - which included a start record of 7.126 seconds - on his first run had left little doubt that he would continue his remarkable winning form.
He closed out the victory on his second run to finish in an overall time of 1:25.380, more than two-hundredths of a second clear of runner-up Jonas Mueller.
Mueller's fellow Austrian David Gleirscher took third, narrowly clear of German pair Johannes Ludwig and Max Langenhan, who was hampered by errors on his second run.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Loch has a 290-point lead at the summit and looks almost certain to wrap up his seventh World Cup crown, which would be his first since 2017/18.
"The start record is especially awesome, but also the track record," he said. "It's fun when you can go that fast.
"I should win the overall World Cup now and I want to continue to race at the top."
Third-placed Gleirscher perhaps spoke for the rest of the field when he said: "At the moment, he (Loch) is playing with us."
Sportsbeat 2021
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