Diggins Third-Fastest Time of the Day in Ruka
Jessie Diggins posted the third-fastest time of the day to lead the way for the Davis U.S. Cross Country National Team Program in the 10k freestyle pursuit, the final stage of the Ruka Triple mini-tour Sunday in Finland.
“Any day I can land a (time of the day) podium is a great day, so I’m really happy with how it went,” Jessie said. “I just went out charging as hard as I could today, looking to hunt people down and skied without putting any pressure on myself. It was cold out there, but having grown up in Minnesota…I just loved that and felt right at home!”
Overall, it was a great start to the season for the U.S. women at the three-day event, with Sadie fourth in the overall Ruka Triple standings, Jessie fifth, and Rosie Brennan 10th. As a bonus, Sadie started the day in the yellow overall World Cup leader’s bib, but an equipment mishap off the start distracted her from settling into her pace.
“What an honor to head out on the course in the yellow bib, that sure was fun!” Sadie said. “I had a broken binding and my foot was sliding around on my ski, which left me worried that I was going to lose my ski on one of the downhills. After I made it around the first loop in one piece, I was able to forget about it, and focus on the task at hand.”
Although she dropped to fourth in the overall World Cup standings, Sadie is only 110 points behind overall leader Therese Johaug of Norway. Jessie is fifth, and Rosie is 11th overall.
“(Sunday) was far from my best race, but I am satisfied with the fight I put up and really thrilled to have opened the World Cup with a 10th in the Ruka Triple,” Rosie said. “That far exceeds my expectations for the weekend. It's certainly time for a little rest after a big opening weekend and hopefully trying to find more speed in the coming weeks.”
With her early-season fitness coming around, Jessie is focusing on the numerous mini-tours on this year’s World Cup schedule and making every weekend count.
“I always work my way into the season and this year is no different, but it was a great surprise to feel so awesome today and to see a TOD podium,” Jessie said. “With no Championships or Games, this year I’m excited to focus on making each and every weekend that I race an absolute all-out effort, and I’m also looking forward to having so many tours this season because I think they are a ton of fun and a great challenge for the body and the brain.”
Erik Bjornsen led the way for the U.S. men Sunday, finishing 30th on the day. Erik was also the top American in 25th place in the overall Ruka Triple standings.
Up next, the FIS World Cup Cross Country tour moves to Lillehammer, Norway, for a women’s 15k classic/freestyle and men’s 30k classic/freestyle skiathlon on Saturday, Dec. 7; and a women’s 4x5k, men’s 4x7.5k team relays on Sunday, Dec. 8.
“Now it is time to do some resting, recovering, and traveling to Norway for our second weekend of racing’” Sadie added. “With the way my teammates are skiing right now, we should have a SUPER fun relay event ahead!”