Jessie Diggins celebrates taking 3rd place at the FIS Tour de Ski on Jan. 4, 2020 in Val Di Fiemme, Italy.
New year, same success for 2018 Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins.
Competing in the sixth of seven races across nine days in the Tour de Ski, the cross-country skiing star came through for a third-place finish in the women’s sprint classic Saturday in Val di Fiemme, Italy.
Diggins, the versatile two-time Olympian who teamed with Kikkan Randall to claim gold in team sprint freestyle at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, has enjoyed a stellar start to a season in which she had already graced world cup podiums three times, the fastest she’d ever achieved the result.
An excellent endurance racer, Diggins proved deft on her feet on the 1,270 meter sprint course in the Dolomites as well, slotting in as the top qualifier to Saturday’s final and ultimately finishing third overall with a time of 3 minutes, 3.31 seconds in a tightly contested contest between the top five finishers.
Slovenia’s Anamarija Lampic shaved more than four seconds off her qualifying time to win the race in 3:03:03, just ahead of Norway’s Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, 0.22 seconds behind. Two-time Olympian Sadie Maubet Bjornsen of the U.S. was fourth, 0.8 seconds behind Lampic. Representing the host country, Italy’s Lucia Scardoni rounded out the top five.
With this result, Diggins now ranks third in both the Tour de Ski standings and the overall world cup standings, with Lampic leading the tour and Norway’s Therese Johaug tops in the overall standings. Maubet Bjornsen is fifth in the world cup standings and ninth in Tour de Ski standings.
Diggins, who finished sixth at last year’s Tour de Ski, was just off the podium in fourth place in the sprint freestyle race Dec. 29 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, and placed seventh on New Year’s Eve in the 10-kilometer freestyle in Toblach, Italy.
Maubet Bjornsen has had close calls as well, finishing fifth in the sprint freestyle and and seventh in the 10K classic mass start on Friday, also in Val di Fiemme.
The final event in Val di Fiemme, the men’s and women’s 10K freestyle mass starts, are slated for Sunday.