Olympic and world champion Jessie Diggins notched the biggest individual title of her cross-country skiing career, becoming the first American to win the Tour de Ski.
“This is a lifelong goal,” she said. “It’s so cool for our country to show that it’s possible. Now I’m looking forward to resting.”
Diggins held onto the overall lead in Sunday’s eighth and final stage of the Tour de France-like event, finishing second on the day to Swede Ebba Andersson on the final climb up Alpe Cermis in Cavalese, Italy.
Diggins topped the overall standings — combining finishes from all eight stages — by 1 minute, 24.8 seconds over Russian Yuliya Stupak. She won two of the eight stages and finished on the podium four other times.
Norwegians won the previous seven women’s Tours, but no man or woman from the powerhouse nation entered this year’s competitions due to coronavirus pandemic-related concerns. The Tour de Ski debuted in 2006-07.
Diggins’ best previous Tour de Ski finish was third in 2017-18. That came in between her world and Olympic titles in the team sprint with now-retired Kikkan Randall.
Diggins also this weekend took the lead in this season’s World Cup overall standings from countrywoman Rosie Brennan. One American has won a World Cup overall title — Bill Koch in 1982.
The World Cup season goes through mid-March, with a break in late February and early March for the world championships in Oberstdorf, Germany.
She wins the @FISCrossCountry Tour de Ski, rushes back to the hotel for a late lunch and shower, and then manages to get back to the top of the mountain to cheer on our men. That’s “Stage nine,” and is what makes @jessdiggs tick. pic.twitter.com/OyT8Oymyto
— Matt Whitcomb (@Matt_Whitcomb) January 10, 2021
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