By Karen Price | Jan. 01, 2019, 9:24 a.m. (ET)

Jessie Diggins celebrates at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 21, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea. 

 

Just hours into 2019, Olympians Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins earned their first podium finishes of the year.

Caldwell took second and Diggins third behind Sweden’s Stina Nilsson in the women’s freestyle sprint, the third stage of the prestigious Tour de Ski cross-country skiing competition on Tuesday in Val Muestair, Switzerland. It was a photo finish between the two Americans, who were both 2.27 seconds behind Nilsson, the defending Olympic champion, with the win in 3:31.91.

Diggins, who finished third overall in the Tour de Ski last season and became the first American to reach the overall podium in the event, also moved into first place in the overall standings with a 1.1-second lead over Norway’s Ingvild Oestberg. The Olympic gold medalist from Afton, Minnesota, took third place in Stage 1 of the seven-stage competition on Saturday, also a sprint, and placed sixth in the 10K freestyle on Sunday to move to second overall in the standings. 

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Monday was a rest day.

Caldwell finished sixth on Saturday before earning her first podium finish of the event on Tuesday and is now in 10th place in the overall standings. Sadie Bjornsen is eighth, giving Team USA three athletes in the top 10.

Simi Hamilton, the only U.S. man to compete on Tuesday, was eliminated in the first round. He’s ranked 38th in the overall standings.

The Tour de Ski, which is part of the FIS World Cup, next moves to Oberstdorf, Germany, with a 10K on Wednesday and will wrap up in Italy with the final stage on Jan. 6.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.