Reigning cross country World Cup champion Therese Johaug laid down a marker for the new campaign with a dominant victory in the 10km race in Ruka.

The Norwegian star skilfully negotiated tricky conditions in Finland to cross the line in 25:01.4 and earn the 74th individual event win of a glittering career.

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The 32-year-old's time saw her finish more than 20 seconds clear of the rest of the field, with 21-year-old Swede Frida Karlsson taking second in 25:23.2.

This was Karlsson's second appearance on a World Cup podium and her highest finish in a 10km race as she edged out her compatriot Ebba Andersson, who earned third in 25:27.4.

Next up were Russian duo Tatiana Sorina – who missed out on a podium place by just 0.1 seconds – and Natalia Nepryaeva, with sixth-placed Kerttu Niskanen the highest-placed Finn in Ruka.

Sweden's Linn Svahn, who finished 11th in the 10km, remains in possession of the overall yellow bib at this early stage following her success in Friday's Sprint.

Svahn has 74 points to her name after two events, two clear of Maja Dahlqvist, but Sunday's 10km freestyle pursuit will round off the opening weekend and Johaug will be confident of adding to her points tally.

Speaking afterwards, Johaug – who won all but three distance races last season – said: "It was really hard – I forgot how hard it is!

"I am really happy with first place today. I raced well and it’s really good to start the season with a first place."

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