Diggins Leads U.S. In Challenging Stage 3 Sprint
Six members of the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team advanced to the heats in the Stage 3 freestyle sprint held on the lower slopes of Sweden’s National Ski Area in Åre, with Jessie Diggins leading the way in 11th on Tuesday.
Racing through soft snow conditions, the athletes faced an interesting course profile with a stiff climb to the finish at the unique venue. In fact, the climb was at the base of the World Alpine Ski Championships track in Åre—the same track that FIS Ski alpine athletes will descend in just a couple of weeks. Sophie Caldwell finished in 12th, followed by Sadie Mauabet Bjornsen in 20th and Julia Kern in 27th. In the men’s race, Simi Hamilton was the lone U.S. men’s qualifier, finishing 14th.
“Well, it was quite the surprise to lay eyes on this course for the first time,” Sadie said. “Unlike any other race I have done before, it was a small little 'skier cross' course on the bottom, followed by 700 meters straight up the alpine slope. While that number sounds small, the real-life vision was severely intimidating!
“While I would have liked to chase some precious seconds back in a standard sprint race today, I walked away from the day with a smile on my face from such a unique experience. I will have to go on a mission on this next 38k race, and try to pick away that time,” she added.
With three stages remaining, including Thursday’s 38k point-to-point freestyle race, Jessie sits seventh overall, Rosie is 12th and Sadie is 18th. Thursday’s race features the legendary crossing of the international border between Storlien in Sweden (start) and Meråker in Norway (finish) and will surely shake up the overall standings as the stage will require athletes to carry their own nutrition as no feeding zones or coaching will be allowed on the majority of the course.
Upon arrival in Meråker, the athletes continue by train to Trondheim, Norway, the final destination of the Tour, where Stages 5 and 6 will take place. The organizers behind the Ski Tour 2020 want to set an example for future organizers by making Ski Tour 2020 as sustainable as possible. In minimizing the use of fossil-fuel operated transportation, all participating athletes and staff will travel by train between the venues, no team cars will be allowed, with the exception of wax trucks.
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Thursday, Feb. 20
Stage 4 Storlien, SWE (start) to Meråker, NOR (finish)
Freestyle 38k both men and women
Friday, Feb. 21
Saturday, Feb. 22
Stage 5 Trondheim, NOR
Sunday, Feb. 23
Stage 6 Trondheim, NOR
Classic pursuit, 15k women, 30k men
HOW TO WATCH
Thursday, Feb. 19
4:45 a.m. - Ski Tour 2020, Women’s 38k mass start, Storlien, SWE - Meråker, NOR - Olympic Channel, OlympicChannel.com, NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. - Ski Tour 2020, Men’s 38k mass start, Storlien, SWE - Meråker, NOR - 5:00 a.m. - Olympic Channel, OlympicChannel.com, NBC Sports Gold
Sunday, Feb 23
5:00 a.m. - Ski Tour 2020, Women’s 15k pursuit, Trondheim, NOR - OlympicChannel.com, NBC Sports Gold
7:05 a.m. - Ski Tour 2020, Men’s 30k pursuit, Trondheim, NOR - OlympicChannel.com, NBC Sports Gold
12:00 p.m.. - Ski Tour 2020, Women’s 15k pursuit, Trondheim, NOR - Olympic Channel*
1:00 p.m. - Ski Tour 2020, Men’s 30k pursuit, Trondheim, NOR - Olympic Channel*
Note: All televised events to stream across NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com, and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA app
Exclusive commercial-free coverage will be available for subscribers of the NBC Sports Gold Pass, available here: https://www.nbcsports.com/gold/snow.