Sweden’s Stina Nilsson secured her first-ever International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross-Country World Cup distance victory to regain the overall lead as the Tour de Ski moved to the German resort of Oberstdorf.
In the men’s race, Sergey Ustiugov of Russia prevailed again to maintain his advantage at the summit of the standings.
Nilsson emerged triumphant in a thrilling 10 kilometres skiathlon race as she recorded a time of 27min 23.8sec during the third stage of the Tour de Ski.
The Swede, a team sprint bronze medallist at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, crossed the line 0.2 seconds in front of Jessica Diggins of the United States.
Norway’s Heidi Weng was a further 1.3 seconds adrift in third place.
Nilsson now holds a four-second Tour de Ski advantage over Weng, the overall leader on the FIS Cross-Country World Cup standings.
Weng’s compatriot Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, who lost ground on the duo after she could only manage a 13th place finish today, is 12.4 seconds off the pace.
Just 12 seconds separated the top 10 athletes at the start of today's race.
"I always liked skiathlon," Nilsson said.
"It was a perfect day for me.
"My shape was great, everything was perfect.
"I knew if I wanted to be on the podium I had to be in the front.
"I felt Diggins pushing very hard but I thought I had more power than Jessie before the finish."
Ustiugov, competing in the absence of many of his team-mates after they were suspended by the FIS, due to being implicated in last month's McLaren Report into Russian doping, powered to victory in the men’s 10km skiathlon in 48:40.4.
The Russian was 0.6 seconds quicker than Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway, while Dario Cologna of Switzerland, the Olympic 30km skiathlon champion, was third.
Ustiugov has a commanding 29.5 second lead over Sundby on the Tour de Ski standings, with Canada’s Alex Harvey occupying third place.
Further individual and mass start events are scheduled to be held in the Italian resorts of Toblach and Val di Fiemme on Friday and Saturday (January 6 and 7) before the Tour de Ski concludes with a climb free technique pursuit on Sunday (January 8).