Hanna Öberg won the first women's race of the IBU World Cup season ©Getty Images

Hanna Öberg took an early lead and never looked back, claiming victory in the first women's race of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup season in Kontiolahti.

The Swede shot clean at the first three stations and picked up just a solitary penalty on the fourth, completing the 15 kilometres in 43min 53.8sec.

Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold led the Norwegian charge and was second in 44:30.3, having shot clean throughout.

The three-time world relay champion stood up to the plate with compatriots Marte Olsbu Røiseland and Tiril Eckhoff missing the start of the IBU World Cup season.

Røiseland is the defending World Cup champion and was a winner of five medals at the Winter Olympics earlier this year, while Eckhoff is the sprint and pursuit world champion.

Today's podium was completed by Lisa Vittozzi of Italy in 44:33.5.

Germany's Venessa Voigt and Frenchwoman Julia Simon completed the top five.

There was no athlete from host nation Finland in the top 10.

"I am very happy," said the victorious Öberg.

"I knew the skiing was going to be pretty okay; I felt relaxed about the skiing. 

"My main objective today was to get all the pieces together with the skiing and shooting. 

"I think I did a good job."

Relays are on the agenda tomorrow.