By Nick Butler

Marit Bjørgen (centre) celebrates after a Norwegian clean sweep in the prologue of the Tour de Ski ©FISNorway's six-time Olympic champion Marit Bjørgen won the prologue of the International Ski Federation's Tour de Ski cross country stage race in Oberstdorf, while Switzerland's Dario Cologna claimed male spoils.

Bjørgen, also a 12-time world champion who won three gold medals at Sochi 2014 last year to follow a similar treble at Vancouver 2010, has won virtually everything in the sport except the Tour de Ski.

But the 34-year-old got off to a perfect start in this year's edition of the European stage-race, held annually since 2007, winning the three kilometres freestyle opening prologue in 7min 53sec.

In a Norwegian clean sweep on German soil, Heidi Weng finished over 10 seconds behind in second place, with Ragnhild Haga a further two seconds back.

"It was a very good day," the winner said afterwards.

"I was surprised to hear I had 10 seconds lead in the finish, I feel I am in a good shape and had a good feeling on the skis."

Dario Cologna won the men's prologue to begin his pursuit of a fourth overall title ©FISDario Cologna won the men's prologue to begin his pursuit of a fourth overall title ©FIS

While Bjørgen's best overall finish has been second in 2007 and 2012, men's prologue winner Dario Cologna is seeking a fourth overall triumph following victories in 2009, 2011 and 2012. 

The three-time Olympic champion finished the 4km course in 9:54.20 to beat Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson and Norway's nine-time world champion, Petter Northug.

"I did not expect to win but I felt I was in good shape," Cologna, who has struggled with injuries in recent months, said afterwards.

"Prologue is just the first competition but it is good to see everything is working well."

The Tour will continue in Oberstdorf tomorrow, with a total of seven stages to take place across Germany, Switzerland and Italy before the event concludes with a pursuit in Val di Fiemme a week today on January 11. 

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