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Countdown to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

Diggins Third, Brennan Sixth in Tour de Ski 10k Classic

By Tom Horrocks
January, 2 2021
10k Classic
Jessie Diggins (right) sprints to a third-place finish in Saturday's 10k classic mass start, the second stage of the 10-day FIS Tour de Ski. (www.nordicfocus.com. © Vianney Thibaut/NordicFocus)

Jessie Diggins finished third to grab her second-consecutive podium, and Rosie Brennen finished sixth to maintain her overall FIS Cross Country World Cup lead in Saturday’s 10k classic mass start, the second stage of the 15th FIS Tour de Ski in Val Müstair, Switzerland.

In a four-up sprint to the line, Sweden’s Linn Svahn took her second-consecutive victory, with Russia’s Yulia Stupak in second. Hailey Swirbul and Katharine Ogden both had impressive results, finishing 17th and 23rd respectively. Caitlin Patterson was 38th, Julia Kern finished 41st; and Sophie Caldwell Hamilton, who was taken out near the end of the first lap, rallied to finish 46th.

“My goals for today were to ski smooth and really work the downhills without letting them become a stress in a mass start environment, so I stayed near the front to keep out of trouble,” Jessie said. “This was a great course for me with all the long power-striding, and when I felt good on the last half of the last lap I just decided to push it!”

With light snow falling throughout the race, Jessie, Linn, and her Swedish teammate Frida Karlsson pushed the pace in the first mass-start race of the season, which always proves a bit chaotic, especially at the start. 

“My goal was to keep things as close as possible and then see what I left in the end,” said Rosie, who posted a career-best classic distance result. “I think I did this well as I skied in the front pack throughout the race.”

With a lead group of 10 heading in the final 2.5k lap, Jessie upped the pace up the final climb and whittled the group down to seven, and on the final downhill into the finish arena, she found herself in a position to sprint for the podium.

“For someone previously labeled as a skater only, it was very exciting to find myself sprinting for the podium in a 10k classic race, and confidence-boosting as well since I’ve been working so hard for so long on my classic striding,” Jessie said. “I think that improvement speaks to our coaches’ dedication and our positive team environment where we can learn from one another and push each other in our weaker areas. This summer I really benefited from my SMST2 teammates helping me push the envelope in classic intervals and I’m extremely grateful to them!”

Once again, Saturday’s results were a team effort between the athletes and service staff, who worked long hours to prepare fast skis.

“We had great skis out there,” Jessie added. “Huge thanks to our service team and coaches for all their hard work, and the Salomon service team for their help picking my skis before the race!”

In the 15k men’s race the Russians dominated, in fact, the only thing that stopped the Russians from sweeping the podium was themselves. With Alexander Bolshunov holding a commanding lead into the finish to secure his second-straight victory, Evgeniy Belov and Alexey Chervotkin were sitting second and third before they got tangled up in the final downhill corner and opened the door for Switzerland’s Dario Cologna to land on the podium in second. Russia’s Ivan Yakimushkin finished third.

Gus Schumacher was settling in for a top-30 result, sitting 23rd after the first lap, then 27th after the third of four 3.3k loops. As the final lap pace kicked into high gear, the race split apart and Gus slid back a bit but glided across the line in 37th to lead U.S. men, with Scott Patterson in 44th, Simi Hamilton 47th and Kevin Bolger in 60th.

Up next, Stage three features a freestyle pursuit format, 10k for the women and 15k for the men Sunday in Val Müstair. Rosie won the previous freestyle pursuit in Davos by a huge margin, so she’ll toe the line Sunday with a ton of confidence. “I am in a great position for tomorrow's pursuit start so I hope to find some good energy and take advantage of that,” she said.

After two of eight stages, Jessie is second and Rosie is fourth overall. Hailey is 17th and Katharine moved up to 28th overall.

RESULTS
Stage 2
Women’s 10k classic mass start
Men’s 10k classic mass start

STANDINGS
Women’s Tour de Ski overall (through stage 2)
Men’s Tour de Ski overall (through stage 2)
Women’s World Cup overall
Men’s World Cup overall

SCHEDULE
Sunday, Jan. 3, Val Müstair, SUI
Women’s 10k freestyle pursuit
Men’s 15k freestyle pursuit

Tuesday, Jan. 5, Toblach, ITA
Women’s 10k freestyle
Men’s 15k freestyle

Wednesday, Jan. 6, Toblach, ITA
Women’s 10k classic pursuit
Men’s 15k classic pursuit

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
Sunday, Jan. 3
5:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski Men's 15k Pursuit - LIVE, Val Mustair, SUI, Streaming Peacock
9:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski Women's 10k Pursuit - LIVE, Val Mustair, SUI, Streaming Peacock

Tuesday, Jan. 5
7:00 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski Women's 10k - LIVE, Toblach, ITA, Streaming Peacock
10:45 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski Men's 15k - LIVE, Toblach, ITA, Streaming Peacock

Wednesday, Jan. 6
7:30 a.m. FIS World Cup Cross Country Tour de Ski Women's 10k Pursuit - LIVE, Toblach, ITA, Streaming Peacock
10:30 a.m. FIS Cross Country World Cup Tour de Ski Men's 15k Pursuit - LIVE, Toblach, ITA, Streaming Peacock

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