‘Lucky loser’ Diggins crashes sprint final, gets first World Cup win of season

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Jessie Diggins, one half of the U.S. sprint team to win the first Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in cross-country skiing in 2018, won her first World Cup race of the season in Italy.

With the start of the 2019 Nordic World Ski Championship just days away, Diggins clawed her way to the front of the pack in the women’s sprint, stretching at the line to overtake Germany’s Sandara Ringwald for the win.

“There’s been lots of ups-and-downs this year,” Diggins said after the race. “I’ve been sick a lot, there’s been a lot of doubt, and sometimes losing my self-confidence, so i think it’s good to remember that you don’t know what’s going to happen until the last 100m of any race and you have to keep believing in yourself and keep pushing the whole way.”

Diggins was fortunate to even make it through to the final race. Her 3 minutes and 32.14 second time in the semifinals was the slowest of the six women to advance to the final, but it was fast enough to get her in, and that’s all she needed.

Diggins’ U.S. teammate Sadie Bjornsen also advanced to the final, finishing the day in fifth. Bjornsen finished the day in fifth. Sophie Caldwell, currently fourth in World Cup sprint points this season, also raced for the U.S. but was unable to advance past her quarterfinal heat in Cogne.

Full results are here.

The top three sprinters on the World Cup this season, Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and Maja Dahlqvist along with Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla were not racing this weekend in Italy. Nilsson has not raced since she injured herself in a race in January in Estonia.

In the men’s sprint, Italy’s Frederico Pellegrino claimed the top podium spot, while the U.S. Simi Hamilton posted his best finish of the season, ending up just off the podium in fourth.

Full results are here.

Racing continues in Cogne, Italy tomorrow with the women’s 10km (3:45 a.m. ET) and men’s 15km (6:30 a.m. ET). Watch both races live on OlympicChannel.com or with an NBC Sports Gold Snow Pass.

What to watch this week in winter sports

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Planning to make her much-anticipated season debut this weekend, Lindsey Vonn will have to wait after scheduled races in St. Anton, Austria, were cancelled due to weather. Vonn, who sat out the start of the season with a knee injury, is now expected to make her season debut in Cortina, Italy, next week. A downhill race is scheduled for Friday, January 18, to replace the cancelled downhill in St. Anton. Another downhill will take place on Saturday, January 19, with super-G on Sunday, January 20. Vonn is expected to race all three.

Alpine action this weekend is headlined by two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety, who is expected to lead a deep U.S. contingent in giant slalom, airing live Saturday on Olympic Channel.

A trio of Olympic medalists – Sochi Olympic champion Joss Christensen, two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper, and Sochi silver medalist Devin Logan headline the U.S. contingent in slopestyle as the freestyle skiing World Cup continues in Font Romeu, France.

PyeongChang Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins is expected to compete in two sprint events as the cross-country skiing World Cup moves to Dresden, Germany.

ALPINE SKIING WORLD CUP — Adelboden, Switzerland

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 4:15 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Giant Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold
 Sunday 4:15 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 1) NBC Sports Gold
7:30 a.m. Men’s Slalom (Run 2) Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BIATHLON WORLD CUP — Oberhof, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Thursday 8:20 a.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Women’s 7.5km Sprint* Olympic Channel
Friday 8:20 a.m. Men’s 10km Sprint Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Men’s 10km Sprint* Olympic Channel
Saturday 6:35 a.m. Women’s 10km Pursuit Olympic Channel
8:50 a.m. Men’s 12.5km Pursuit Olympic Channel
9:30 p.m. Women’s 10km Pursuit* Olympic Channel
10:30 p.m. Men’s 12.5km Pursuit* Olympic Channel
Sunday 5:35 a.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay Olympic Channel
8:20 a.m. Men’s 4×7.5km Relay Olympic Channel
3:00 p.m. Women’s 4x6km Relay* Olympic Channel
4:00 p.m. Women’s 4×7.5km Relay* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

BOBSLED AND SKELETON WORLD CUP — Koenigssee, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 4:00 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 1 Olympic Channel
5:45 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 2 Olympic Channel
7:30 a.m. Women’s skeleton, Run 1 Olympic Channel
8:00 a.m. Men’s skeleton, Run 2* Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Women’s skeleton, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Saturday 7:30 a.m. Women’s bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Women’s bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. Two-man bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
12:00 p.m. Two-man bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel
Sunday 7:30 a.m. Four-man bobsled, Run 1 Olympic Channel
9:00 a.m. Four-man bobsled, Run 2 Olympic Channel Olympic Channel

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING WORLD CUP — Dresden, Germany

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:15 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Sprint NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Men’s & Women’s Sprint* Olympic Channel
Sunday 6:40 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint NBC Sports Gold
1:00 p.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint* Olympic Channel
Monday 12:00 a.m. Men’s & Women’s Team Sprint* NBCSN

*Same-day delay Races stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

FREESTYLE SKIING WORLD CUP — Font Romeu, France and Calgary, Canada

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:30 a.m. Slopestyle NBC Sports Gold
2:00 p.m. Slopestyle* Olympic Channel
3:30 p.m. Moguls Olympic Channel NBC Sports Gold

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

LUGE WORLD CUP — Font Romeu, France and Calgary, Canada

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 7:45 a.m. Doubles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
9:05 a.m. Doubles (Run 2) Olympic Channel
10:30 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
11:55 a.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2) Olympic Channel
6:30 p.m. Doubles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
7:00 p.m. Women’s Singles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
Sunday 2:55 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
4:30 a.m. Men’s Singles (Run 1) Olympic Channel
6:40 a.m. Team relay Olympic Channel
2:00 p.m. Men’s singles (Run 2)* Olympic Channel
Monday 11:00 p.m. Men’s singles (Run 2)* NBCSN

NORDIC COMBINED WORLD CUP — Val di Fiemme, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
7:25 a.m. Men’s 10km NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
8:05 a.m. Men’s Team Sprint 7.5km NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 3:55 a.m. Men’s HS135 NBC Sports Gold
8:25 a.m. Men’s 10km NBC Sports Gold

SKI JUMPING WORLD CUP — Val di Fiemme, Italy and Sapporo, Japan

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 11:55 a.m. Men’s Individual (Qual.) NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 2:20 a.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
9:55 a.m. Men’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
10:30 a.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
5:00 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel
7:50 p.m. Women’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 10:30 a.m. Women’s Individual* Olympic Channel
10:55 a.m. Men’s Individual NBC Sports Gold
5:00 p.m. Men’s Individual* Olympic Channel

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

EUROPEAN SHORT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS — Dordrecht, Netherlands

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Saturday 9:30 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
Sunday 5:05 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold

EUROPEAN SPEED SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS — Collalbo, Italy

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Friday 7:30 a.m. Day 1 NBC Sports Gold
3 p.m. Day 1* Olympic Channel
Saturday 5:05 a.m. Day 2 NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 2* Olympic Channel
Sunday 1:30 a.m. Day 2* NBCSN
6:30 a.m. Day 3 NBC Sports Gold
8:00 p.m. Day 3* Olympic Channel
Monday 1:00 a.m. Day 3* NBCSN

*Same-day delay All events stream live on NBC Sports Gold for “Snow Pass” subscribers and will have a replay of the event. Click here for more info.

SNOWBOARDING WORLD CUP — Bad Gastein and Kreischberg, Austria

Day Time (ET) Event TV Stream
Wednesday 7:00 a.m. Team Parallel Slalom NBC Sports Gold
Saturday 6:30 a.m. Slopestyle NBC Sports Gold

Norway’s Oestberg wins first Tour de Ski; U.S.’ Diggins finishes off podium

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Watching the cross-country athletes compete in the seventh and final stage of the 2018-19 Tour de Ski, dubbed the Final Climb, is a bit like watching the film “Titanic.” Everyone knows the misery which awaits each skier before they cross the finish line.

The grueling race which culminates in a 3.5km uphill climb, punishes skiers by putting their fitness to the ultimate test.

Entering the final race, Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg held a commanding lead over the rest of the field, but could she perform on Alpe Cermis, a hill which has beaten her up in the past?

“It’s maybe the toughest race of the year,” Oestberg said before the start of the race.  “It’s tough to prepare [for this race] because it’s about preparing for pain and how to deal with the pain.”

However, Oestberg was prepared for the pain, and she cemented her victory with a time of 35 minutes, 15 seconds in the Final Climb to win her first Tour de Ski of her career.

Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva finished second overall for the fourth-consecutive season, while Finland’s Krista Parmakoski rounded out the podium in third. Parmakoski was able to make the final podium despite never having finished better than fourth in any of the first six stages of the Tour de Ski. Parmakoski finished third in the Final Climb. Full results are here.

Last season, Jessie Diggins became the first U.S. skier to make a final Tour de Ski podium when she finished third overall. Her attempt to make a return appearance on this year’s podium fell short, despite three third place finishes over the course of the seven-race event.

Diggins finished sixth in the Final Climb and sixth overall in the final Tour de Ski standings.

On the men’s side, three-time 2018 Olympic champion, 22-year-old Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, became the youngest athlete to win the Tour de Ski. Klaebo finished the men’s Final Climb in first with a time of 32 minutes, 51.3 seconds. Klaebo’s time was good enough to hold off two Russians for the top prize. Alexander Bolshunov and Sergey Ustiugov finished second and third in the final Tour de Ski standings.

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