Jessie Diggins earned her second win in three stages of the Tour de Ski, moving back into first place in the overall standings of the Tour de France-like cross-country skiing stage race.
Diggins won a furious sprint to the finish line of a 10km freestyle in Oberstdorf, Germany, outdueling Swede Frida Karlsson (by a half-second) and Russian Tatiana Sorina (by eight tenths).
“It felt pretty extreme,” Diggins said of the finish. “It probably didn’t look very graceful or very pretty.”
Diggins, who is already qualified for the Olympics, retook the lead in the Tour de Ski by 13 seconds over Finland’s Kerttu Niksanen through three of six stages. The Tour continues with a classic sprint on Saturday (broadcast schedule here).
Last year, Diggins became the first non-European man or woman to win the Tour de Ski, which some of the world’s best skiers sat out.
Some stars are again passing on this year’s Tour, including Maja Dahlqvist of Sweden and Norwegian standout Therese Johaug.
Diggins is an Olympic medal threat in the freestyle sprint, which she won to open the Tour de Ski on Tuesday.
Women also race a 10km at the Olympics, but at this year’s Winter Games it will be in the classic format, whereas Diggins is better in freestyle.
In 2018, Diggins and now-retired Kikkan Randall won the Olympic team sprint when it was a freestyle event, giving the U.S. its first cross-country skiing gold medal. In 2022, the team sprint will be a classic event.
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