By Karen Price | Jan. 03, 2019, 9:24 a.m. (ET)

Jessie Diggins celebrates taking third place at the Tour de Ski on Jan. 3, 2019 in Oberstdorf, Germany. 

 

Jessie Diggins skied her way back onto the podium on Thursday in the fifth stage of the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany.

The Olympic gold medalist finished in third place in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit after just edging out Russia’s Yulia Belorukova by a tenth of a second.

Diggins started the pursuit in fourth place, 1:26.30 off overall leader Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway. By the halfway mark Diggins had moved into third place behind Oestberg and Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva, and she held off Belorukova and Finland’s Krista Parmakoski to finish in 27:33.80. Oestberg won in 26:21.20 and Nepryaeva was second in 26:51.60. Belorukova finished in 27:33.90.

With the result, Diggins moved back into third place overall in the Tour de Ski standings with two races remaining.

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The Minnesota native took the overall lead following her third-place finish in Stage 3, but icing skis during Wednesday’s Stage 4 classic 10K did her no favors. Amidst heavy snow and tough conditions, Diggins finished in 11th place and slipped to fourth in the overall standings, 1:26.30 behind leader Oestberg. 

That’s where she started Thursday’s race, hoping to become the first non-European winner of a Tour de Ski pursuit race. Diggins finished third in both pursuit stages last year and third overall, becoming the first U.S. woman to medal in the prestigious multi-stage event.

Sadie Bjornsen, who started the day 10th in the overall standings, finished in 11th place in her last race of the tour. Bjornsen is not planning to compete in the final two stages of the tour this weekend in Val di Fiemme, Italy. 

Benjamin Lustgarten was the only U.S. skier in the men's 15K freestyle pursuit on Thursday, and he finished 54th.

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.