Jessica Diggins (4), Finland's Krista Parmakoski (2) and Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg (3) compete during the 15k mass start event in Falun, Sweden. (Getty Images/AFP-Ulf Palm)
FALUN, Sweden (Jan. 29, 2017) - Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) skied a scrappy race to record her best 15k classic World Cup finish, winning a photo finish to take 10th. Marit Bjoergen continue to show her return to winning form, leading a Norwegian podium sweep. Imil Iverson of Norway won the men’s 30k.
Bjoergen, together with teammates Ingvild Flugstad Westberg and Heidi Weng, took the lead right from the start. But a strong chase group, including Diggins, hung close until 5k into the race when the Viking trio exploded to create a gap.
Jessica Diggins skied to 10th in Sunday’s FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden. (Getty Images/AFP-Ulf Palm)
The chase broke into two groups around the 10k mark, with Diggins settling into the second group, skiing strongly in the final kilometer to move back up to 10th.
“Early on I tried to go with the leaders but then settled into a great pack of girls to ski with and it came down to an exciting sprint out,” Diggins said.
In the men’s 30k, Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the USA in 35th.
Noah Hoffman (43) competes in the 30k mass start event at the FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden, on Sunday. (Getty Images/AFP-Ulf Palm)
The World Cup now heads to PyeongChang for the Olympic test event on the Alpensia venue. On tap is a classic sprint Friday, skiathlon Saturday and freestyle team sprint Sunday.
Making the trip to PyeongChang will be Hoffman, Continental Cup leader Matt Gelso (Ketchum, ID), Simi Hamilton (Aspen, CO), Andy Newell (Shaftesbury, VT), Sophie Caldwell (Peru, VT), Continental Cup leader Liz Guiney (Park City, UT), Ida Sargent (Orleans, VT), Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT), Scott Patterson (Anchorage) and Caitlin Patterson (Anchorage).
During the PyeongChang World Cup period, Diggins and Kikkan Randall (Anchorage) will train in Valadalen, Sweden.
“I’m really looking forward to some rest and then a quality training camp with some family time in Valadalen for the next few weeks,” Diggins said.
The Bjornsens will be in France, with Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) taking a break at home.
“I am satisfied with the race and am very happy about my fitness,” Brennan said. “It's time now for some rest and prepping for World Championships!”
Norway, led by Marit Bjoergen, swept the podium in a women’s 15k classic mass start in Falun.
Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) finished 10th - her best classic finish at 15k.
Four Americans finished in the points with Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) 21st, Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) 24th and Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) 29th.
Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) led the U.S. men in 35th.
Next weekend the World Cup visits PyeongChang for the Olympic test event. Just a small U.S. contingent will compete.
QUOTES Jessie Diggins It was my least favorite conditions today with the tracks really hard to find kick in and getting really sugary as they broke down, so it was good to have another chance to work on my striding and improve my classic racing. But like yesterday, I was so impressed with our service team and my skis were great.
Early on I tried to go with the leaders but then settled into a great pack of girls to ski with and it came down to an exciting sprint out. I’m really looking forward to some rest and then a quality training camp with some family time in Valadalen for the next few weeks. My boyfriend is here cheering me on and coming to camp with me, and then my parents come next week so I have so many great things to look forward to.
Rosie Brennan Today's race was very hard! We don't get to race 15k very often so it's hard to know what to expect out there. It was challenging conditions today with sugary tracks that were a little beat up from the boys. I actually really enjoy skiing in this kind of condition so I was optimistic about today's race. I felt that I was fighting a bit of fatigue out there and only really had one speed, luckily it was a decent speed and I was able to hold consistent throughout the race.
I am satisfied with the race and am very happy about my fitness. It's time now for some rest and prepping for World Championships!