Diggins Fourth In World Championship 30k
Jessie Diggins (Afton, Minn.) skied a gritty race on Saturday to finish fourth in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championship 30k freestyle in Seefeld, Austria.
Diggins was pushing the pace from the second position to pressure eventual winner Therese Johaug (Norway) to peel off the front during the second of four laps.
“That was really fun and we had some of the best skis out there,” said Diggins. “I went to the front to take the lead as I could see that the chase group was starting to make time. I started working there and was steadily pinning it at the max I could sustain. I was working with Ingvild which was fun, but she started to go, and my body said nope, as I was struggling a bit with cramping.”
Working together, second-place finisher Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg and third-place finisher 19-year-old Frida Karlsson of Norway pushed the pace late in the second lap.
“When Ingvild started to go, my body said nope, as I was struggling a bit with cramping, continued Diggins. “I was trying to ski as technically well as I could at about 2k to go and put all my energy into the snow. I was thinking I have got to make it to the finish line. When I crossed the finish line it was such a good feeling because I know I couldn’t have given it anything else.”
“It was really exciting to see Jessie be so competitive and it was interesting at the beginning of the race as she was trying to cover Johaug’s move,” said U.S. Cross Country Head Coach Chris Grover. “Jessie was skiing in second for much of the race and never further back than that lead group until the split came. The wax techs made some incredible skis today allowed us to be really competitive all day”.
Grover continued, “Sadie and Rosie have been skiing rock solid and we’re in the mix today. All four or out starters executed the race really well, no missed feeds, no broken poles and made the smart choices about ski exchanges. That veteran experience goes into creating really good races.”
Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Wash.) finished 15th, Rosie Brennan (Park City, Utah) finished 16th and, Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury, Vt.) finished 34th.
“It was a day for toughness out there,” said Brennan. “We started out at a very fast clip and with some fatigue from a week of racing, I was not feeling like I could sustain that pace for 30k. I settled back and found a good group of girls to race with and things slowly turned around. We were able to pick up a few people that faded from the group in front and I was able to have a strong sprint finish. I am really proud of my finish, but wish I had it in me to stick with the group in front.”
The Championships continue Sunday with the final race of the event, the Men’s 50k freestyle. Starters will be Scott Patterson (Anchorage, Alaska), David Norris (Fairbanks Alaska), Adam Martin (Wausau, Wis.), and Simi Hamilton (Aspen, Co.).
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