Diggins Continues Podium Streak; Maintains TdS Overall Lead
Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan went deep into the pain cave in Wednesday’s 10k Classic pursuit in Toblach, Italy, to maintain their stronghold in the overall FIS Tour de Ski standings. Diggins rallied to finish third, and Brennan glided across the line in fourth.
"Wow, that was a tough fight out there," Diggins said, once again crediting the Davis U.S. Cross Country Service Team for providing fast skis for the warm, tricky conditions. "I was really proud of myself for hanging tough and just gritting it out until the end! It was a good test of mental toughness for me after a little fall and getting caught to be able to refocus, stay calm and ski as smart and smooth as I could!
Russia’s Yulia Stupak won Wednesday’s race in the sprint to the line, her first World Cup victory in more than two years after taking last season off for the birth of her first child. Sweden’s Ebba Andersson was second in a photo finish with Diggins.
“Today was a very tough fight,” Brennan said. “My goal was to lose as little time as possible and then see what I had in me. I fought with all I had today and am proud of that and happy to maintain second in the overall tour.”
It was another solid day of results for the Davis U. S. Cross Country Ski Team as Diggins not only kept her podium streak alive at five, but Brennan maintained her lead in the World Cup overall and distance standings; Katharine Ogden finished 20th; Hailey Swirbul was 22nd. For the American men, Gus Schumacher continues to impress on his first full season on the World Cup Tour, finishing 15th in the 15k classic to move up to 23rd in the overall standings.
Thanks to his 14th-place result from Tuesday, Schumacher is now nicely positioned for a top 30-overall FIS Tour de Ski finish, something only achieved four times in the history of the race by an American male. Noah Hoffman was 26th in 2017; 22nd in 2016 (best American result); and 24th in 2014; Kris Freeman was 28th in 2011.
With three stages remaining in the 15th FIS Tour de Ski, Diggins holds the overall lead by 22 seconds over Brennan and 58 seconds over Stupak. Swirbul is 18th overall and Ogden is 22nd overall. Caitlin Patterson was 39th Wednesday and sits 37th overall; Julia Kern finished 41st Wednesday and sits 39th overall.
Russia once again swept the podium Wednesday with Alexander Bolshunov taking a commanding 55-second win over countrymen Ivan Yakimushkin and Evgeniy Belov who finished second and third respectively. Scott Patterson was 36th, and Kevin Bolger was 46th. Bolshunov holds a massive 2:06 lead in the overall standings with three stages remaining.
Up next, the athletes will enjoy a rest day Thursday while relocating to Val di Fiemme, Italy, for the remaining stages. Stage 6 on Friday features a 10k classic mass start for the women and a 15k classic mass start for the men.
Friday, Jan. 8, Val di Fiemme, ITA
Women’s 10k classic mass start
Men’s 15k classic mass start
Saturday, Jan. 9, Val di Fiemme, ITA
Men and women’s classic sprint
Sunday, Jan. 10, Val di Fiemme, ITA
Women’s 10k freestyle mass start hill climb
Men’s 10k freestyle mass start hill climb
HOW TO WATCH
Friday, Jan. 8
7:15 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Men's 15k Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Peacock
9:30 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Women's 10k Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Peacock
Saturday, Jan. 9
7:00 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Men and Women’s Classic Sprint - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Peacock
Sunday, Jan. 10
6:45 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Women's 10k Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Peacock
9:30 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Men's 10k Mass Start - LIVE, Val di Fiemme, ITA, Streaming Peacock