Alexander Legkov of Russia had enough strength for a strong sprint finish to win the grueling 50-kilometre race at Holmenkollen on Saturday in Oslo, Norway and take the overall lead in the cross-country World Cup.

Legkov beat Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway and fellow Russian Ilya Chernousov on the final straight to win in two hours seven minutes 32.9 seconds. Johnsrud Sundby was 1.2 seconds back in second, with Chernousov 1.9 behind.

Previous overall World Cup leader Dario Cologna of Switzerland and second-place Petter Northug of Norway both faded during the last 10 kilometres. Legkov now leads the standings with 1,233 points, with Northug 12 points behind and Cologna another three points back — making for a close finish at next week's World Cup finals in Sweden.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was the top Canadian, finishing 29th.