USA skiers Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan capped off a weekend of racing at Val Mustair’s (Switzerland) Tour de Ski by delivering a historic first and second-place finish in Sunday’s 10K Pursuit.
The double-podium victory came on the heels of a strong performance by the pair at the three-day “Tour de Ski” held annually in the high-alpine valley of Val Mustair, Switzerland. Here’s a bit of a “play by play”…
Friday: The weekend kicks off with the 5km (3.1 miles) Sprint. Diggins skis to a strong 2nd place finish with Brennan just falling short of the podium in 4th place. The drama builds…
Saturday: Sweden’s Linn Svahn wins the 10k Mass Start in a photo finish! Yulia Stupak (RUS) places 2nd (+0.7), and Diggins places 3rd (+0.8). You are reading this correctly. Three racers ski 10k (6.2 miles) and finish within one second of each other. Brennan delivers a convincing 6th place finish back by only +3.4 seconds. Diggins reacts to her 10K podium finish on Instagram saying: “Took me 216 World Cup starts to get there, but finally checked off a big one today with a podium in a 10km mass start CLASSIC race! I think that is why we never, EVER give up”. Persistence pays off!
Back to Sunday…In Sunday’s 10k Pursuit Sweden’s Linn Svahn established an early lead and led the race for the first 2.5km lap. That lead quickly vanishes a minute after the 2.5km mark when Diggins, Brennan, and Frida Karlsson (SWE) catch Svahn. The four ski together until Svahn drops off the pack after the halfway point leaving the trio to spar for podium positions. The decisive move in the race comes in the last kilometer when Diggins displays remarkable athleticism with an impressive final kick to the finish line. She crosses the line with teammate Rosie Brennan trailing in second (+5.6 seconds) and Karlsson in third (+10.7).
The victory earns Diggins her seventh (individual) World Cup win. For Brennan, with a strong all-around performance and a second-place finish on Sunday, she reacted in her Facebook posting Sunday night: “Well that was a fun way to cap off the weekend”! Indeed, it was!
The Men and Women’s cross-country races move to Tolbach, Italy tomorrow and Wednesday for a pair of 10k and 15k distance races.
Categories: FIS Cross Country Skiing