Jessie Diggins claimed the women’s 5-kilometer freestyle Saturday at the cross-country skiing world cup in Lillehammer, Norway, for the third world cup win of her career and the first podium finish by a U.S. cross-country skier this season.
The 25-year-old took the victory in 12:40.3, 4.8 seconds ahead of current tour leader Heidi Weng, who posted a time of 12:45.1 to lead a Norwegian team that claimed the next four spots.
"I’m so happy with day day today," Diggins said in the finish. "I’m so lucky to have the most amazing team. When you get to train with the coolest people it opens up opportunities. My skis were great and I love this course."
A 2014 Olympian who won team sprint gold with Kikkan Randall at the 2013 world championships, Diggins earned her fifth individual podium finish of the calendar year. She opened 2016 with a 5-kilometer victory at the Tour de Ski in Toblach, Italy, followed by a third-place finish in the world cup 10-kilometer in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. She added a second in the sprint free world cup in Lahti, Finland, in February and in March was third in the sprint free at the Ski Tour Canada in Gatineau, Canada.
The native of Afton, Minnesota, vaults into the top 10 in the FIS season standings and now stands third in the weekend tour with Sunday’s 10-kilometer classic pursuit remaining.