Martin Johnsrud Sundby en route to overall victory in Ruka ©AFP/Getty Images

Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Therese Johaug completed a golden weekend for Norway today by claiming pursuit and overall titles at the Ruka Triple mini-tour, a three-day event also doubling as the season opening International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross Country World Cup.

Sundby completed the 15 kilometres pursuit distance in 37min 10.0sec to continue his dominant form at the Finnish resort, duly claiming a sixth successive FIS World Tour victory.

He finished a mammoth 44.7 seconds clear of 13-time world champion Petter Northug Jr, who placed second, while a Norwegian clean sweep was completed by Finn Haagan Krogh crossing the line a further two seconds back in third.

"It is a good start of the World Cup season," Sundby said. 

"Today’s race was tougher than yesterday.

"I wanted the other guys [to] think they cannot catch me but I started way too fast.

"I got extremely tired.

"After 7.5km I did not know how to continue - I am happy I am leaving Ruka with the overall victory in the mini-tour."

Yet another Norwegian in Niklas Dyrhaug skied the fastest time of the day, crossing the line further back in the pursuit format but in a time a slender 1.9 seconds faster than Sundby.

Three-time 2015 world champion Johaug claimed her first season-opening mini-tour victory as the previous four had all been won by compatriot Marit Bjørgen, who is taking the year off to have a child. 

Therese Johaug celebrates after crossing the finish line to claim the women's title in Ruka ©AFP/Getty Images
Therese Johaug celebrates after crossing the finish line to claim the women's title in Ruka ©AFP/Getty Images

Johaug superbly skied away from the pack to win the 10km pursuit in 27:22.3.

Sweden's sprinting specialist Stina Nilsson broke away from the chasing group to finish just 11 seconds behind on the day to claim second place overall, 22.6 seconds behind the winner. 

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg ensured a second Norwegian presence on the podium with bronze. 

"It was very hard today, the conditions were difficult," said Johaug.

"I was missing the grip on the uphills.

"I had to step out of the tracks.

"It is great to start the season with the first place in Ruka, I am really satisfied."

Norwegian skiers will look to continue their strong start to the season at the second stop on the Cross Country World Cup circuit next week, taking place at their home resort of Lillehammer.

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