- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

KUUSAMO, Finland (AP) - Sondre Fossli and Maiken Caspersen Falla won the sprints in the first cross-country skiing World Cup race of the season on Friday.

Fossli earned his first World Cup victory ahead Norwegian teammates Eirik Brandsdal and Petter Northug by 1.2 seconds.

Stina Nilsson of Sweden prevented a Norwegian sweep when she was second to Falla, holding off third-place Ragnhild Haga.

Brandsdal, the sprint World Cup runner-up last season, was looking for his third consecutive sprint victory on the Ruka track.

“I knew that, so I was prepared,” said Fossli, who came into the team as a reserve. “After coming third last year here, I liked the track, especially the last uphill where I had speed under the top.”

The event in Ruka is a “minitour,” with more races Saturday and Sunday.

In the women’s race, Caspersen Falla beat Nilsson by 0.3 seconds. Therese Johaug of Norway was 13th and Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was 18th.

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