Diggins Skates To Tour de Ski Stage 3 Victory
On a hard, fast, course, Jessie Diggins skated her way to an impressive victory in the women’s 10k freestyle mass start in Stage 3 of the FIS Tour de Ski Friday in Oberstdorf, Germany.
“I had the best skis in the whole world today,” Diggins said after her second World Cup win this week and 13th overall career World Cup victory. “It was amazing! I’m so proud of our team, they worked so hard, and they gave me some absolute rockets.”
Indeed, she had fast skis, thanks to her tech Jason Cork and all the hard work of the entire U.S. tech team. Her skis were so fast, that at times on some of the long, fast downhills on the Oberstdorf track, it seems she was just along for the ride. In fact, coming into the finish stretch, she never used her poles, opting to remain in a low power-tuck skate, as she let her skis carry her to victory.
“Being able to trust the draft, and trust my skis, that was the difference-maker,” she added.
Diggins remained near the front of the field for almost the entire race. After leading out of the start, she settled into a pace among the top 10, but thanks to her fast skis, she found herself gliding into the lead numerous times.
Heading up the final climb, Sweden’s Frida Karlsson held about a five-meter advantage with Diggins battling for the second position with Russia’s Tatiana Sorina. Down into the finish arena, Diggins took the slingshot around the outside of Karlsson and simply skated away. Karlsson held on for second, with Sorina taking third.
Julia Kern put in a solid effort and finished 24th, while Katharine Ogden just missed the top 30 by 1.7 seconds, finishing 32nd. Sophia Laukli was 37th; Alayna Sonnesyn 52nd; and Novie McCabe 54th. Due to a slight cold, Hailey Swirbul did not start Friday’s race.
“It was fast, furious and a lot of fun,” Kern said. “I didn’t have the best energy out there, but it was a hard fight.”
In the men's 15k, Gus Schumacher finished 25th. It was a great result for Schumacher, who was battling a cold last week. “I’m feeling better and better,” Schumacher said. “That cold was slowing me down a little bit, but every day I’m feeling a little more energy and more rested, so I’m looking forward to Val di Fiemme.”
Competing in only his third career World Cup start, Zak Ketterson continued to climb up the results ladder, just missing his first top-30 result by less than five seconds, finishing 36th. “I’m really happy with that (result),” Ketterson said. “The goal for anyone is just to be in the top 30, that is just the first stepping stone. So for me to be close to that today is kind of a dream come true, especially after a couple of rough first races of this Tour, it’s nice to get some positive feedback.”
Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo outsprinted Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov for the victory. Sjur Roethe of Russia was third. Ben Ogden was 64th; Kevin Bolger 65th; Luke Jager 70th and Logan Hanneman 75th.
Friday’s win moved Diggins back into the overall Tour de Ski lead through three of six stages. Kerttu Niskanen of Finland, who won Tuesday’s 10k classic, is second overall, 13 seconds back. Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva is third at 14 seconds back. Kern is 17th overall.
The Tour de Ski kicks off 2022 with a classic sprint in Oberstdorf Saturday, followed by a rest/travel day Sunday and the final two stages in Val di Fiemme, Italy, Monday and Tuesday.
HOW TO WATCH
All times EST
Monday, Jan. 3, 2022
6:40 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Women's 10km Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
8:50 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Men's 15km Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022
5:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Women's 10km Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock
9:25 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Men's 10km Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Ski and Snowboard Live, Streaming Peacock