Alex Harvey of St-Ferrol-les-Neiges, Que., skied to a strong sixth place finish in the men's 4-kilometre Tour de Ski prologue Saturday.

Petter Northug of Norway won the race in Oberhof, Germany, to stretch his World Cup lead. Northug beat Marcus Hellner of Sweden by 6.1 seconds, while Alexander Legkov of Russia was 7.2 seconds behind.

Three-time tour winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland was 10.1 seconds back.

Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., was 32nd, Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 48th and Toronto's Len Valjas was 52nd.

Harvey was happy with his opener.

"It is a good feeling to be back where I feel I belong," said Harvey, who was also sixth one year ago in the same race where he went on to finish 12th overall. "It is the same result as last year, but I feel it is better.

"I felt a lot more relaxed and smooth today whereas last year I was empty and struggled to the finish. That is a good sign for me."

The tour consists of seven events over nine days in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

Kikkan Randall of the United States claimed her second cross-country World Cup victory of the season when she won the prologue event of the Tour de Ski on Saturday.

Randall clinched the 3.1-kilometre sprint by leaving Charlotte Kalla of Sweden 4.4 seconds behind. World Cup leader Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland was third, 4.7 seconds back.

Randall finished last season's series in 10th place and was second in the sprint prologue.