The French pair of Renaud Jay and Lucas Chanavat upset the odds and became the first maiden winner of a men's team sprint World Cup event since Canada in January 2017.
The 7.8km race, six laps of a makeshift course in Dresden city centre, came down to a photo finish with 0.18 seconds separating gold and bronze.
Norway's Haavard Solaas Taugboel and Sindre Bjoernestad Skar were the front-runners in the final alongside Sweden and Russia.
But France clawed it back and Chanavat claimed the final sprint, crossing the line in a time of 14:30.66 with Sweden winning silver and Russia bronze.
"It was a big fight," said Ray. "I knew Lucas was the fastest in the last 100m so I tried to do all I could to set it up for him."
Chanavat added: "It's cool to win with such a good team-mate. We have such a good team and it's a really nice feeling for the whole team."
In the women's event, Swedish duo Maja Dahlqvist and Linn Svahn made it back-to-back World Cups in a home straight shootout with Switzerland.
The pair, who claimed top step in Planica, Slovenia before Christmas, exchanged blows with Norway before Dahlqvist's late surge set up Svahn to claim it at the line from Switzerland's Nadine Fähndrich.
"We aimed to go hard on the three last laps and give Linn a good position to win it from," said Dahlqvist.
Svahn added: "The atmosphere in the city sprint is awesome, especially when the sun's out. We often do good races when it's sunny."