KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Petter Northug of Norway won his fourth World Cup race Friday, winning the men's freestyle race at the Sochi Olympic cross-country course.
Kikkan Randall of the United States won the women's 1.4-kilometre heats to claim her fourth top podium of the season.
Northug won in 3 minutes, 54.18 seconds on a 1.8-kilometre course in the mountains north of the Black sea coast. Dario Cologna of Switzerland, who clocked the best time in qualification and dominated the quarterfinal and semifinal heats, was 0.57 seconds behind for second.
The result allowed him to overtake Alexander Legkov of Russia at the top of the overall World Cup standings with 898 points. Legkov, who skipped the event, is 35 points behind, followed by Northug with 859.
David Hoffer of Italy finished third in the race, 0.81 seconds behind the winner.
Randall won in 2:43.28. Aurore Jean of France was 0.52 seconds behind for second and Celine Brun-Lie of Norway was a further 0.14 behind for third.
"It was just great. It's really fun to be here and I'm really happy to feel strong today," Randall said.
The American scored her third victory in sprint events and leads the discipline standings with 356 points. Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway has 240 points for second and is followed by Brun-Lie with 195.
Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, who failed to qualify for the quarterfinals, leads the women's overall standings with 1,372 points. Therese Johaug of Norway is second with 947 and Randall has 874 points for third.
Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was the top Canadina, finishing eighth.
"Today was a step in the right direction and I am happy with it, but I still can't seem to react to that big pace change which has traditionally been my strength," Kershaw said. "This has been a great dress rehearsal for us. It is another World Cup, but the whole vibe is at a different level. Everyone is very diligent because the next time we are here it is the big show."
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