Nordic

Top 10 Tour for Diggins

by
USSA
2016-01-10 08:52
 

VAL di FIEMME, Italy (Jan. 10, 2016) – Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) and Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) skied to career-best Tour de Ski overall finishes on Sunday's final stage. Diggins and Bjornsen charged up the grueling Alpe Cermis 9k hill climb to take 10th and 14th overall in the eight-stage Tour. Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) had the second-fastest hill climb, which grabbed her a top-20 spot in the overall Tour standings. It was the strongest overall performance by the USA ever in the Tour, with a pair of stage wins and seven finishers. Noah Hoffman (Aspen, CO) also had a career best, finishing 22nd overall.

Diggins stayed consistent in the race starting 10th and was able to hold on to that position throughout the race. “That climb is brutally hard and I was in a world of pain, but I had to tell myself to just keep my feet moving!” said Diggins.

Stephen was in her element in the hill climb, as she moved up six places, starting 25th and finishing 19th. Stephen had the second fastest hill climb today, earning her a top-20 spot in the overall Tour standings. Last year Stephen was fifth overall in the Tour de Ski, which remains the best result ever by an American in the multi-stage event.

"It was a great day for me today and though the overall result is not what I was aiming for, I am happy with the top 20 finish," said Stephen. "It's very cool to be a part of this team, and I know we will just keep aiming higher and getting better each year during this event."

Women's Coach Matt Whitcomb chimed in on the success of the women's team. “This year’s Tour was much different than last year as we had many more athletes looking to compete this year," Whitcomb said. "In the Tour, the reality is who can stay healthy and survive the intensity and we had seven athletes who were able to persevere which was a huge success for us."

Norway’s Therese Johaug was out for vengeance to win the hill climb and beat teammate Ingvild Oestberg who had been leading the Tour for several stages. Oestberg started 38 seconds ahead of Johaug, but by the end of the nine kilometers, Johaug had dominated Oestberg and won by over two minutes. It was Johaug’s second Tour de Ski win. Heidi Weng finished third to complete the Norway podium sweep in the final stage of the Tour.

In the men’s competition, Norway’s Martin Sundby dominated the hill climb to win his third consecutive Tour de Ski. Sundby had the biggest overall lead in the Tour and started the hill climb 2:51 minutes ahead of teammate Petter Northug. As Sundby took to the course, he continued to lengthen the gap to win the race by over three minutes ahead of teammate Finn Krogh. Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov finished third, denying Norway the men’s podium sweep.

Hoffman also had a career-best Tour de Ski for the men, finishing 22nd overall. Hoffman started the hill climb in 25th and was able to move up three spots as he ascended the brutal Alpe Cermis.

"The Tour for me was a step in the right direction from where I've been this season. I was consistent, with five out of six distance races in the World Cup points," said Hoffman. "I haven't had a breakthrough top-10 result yet this season, but we're only halfway done and I'm feeling very good about the remaining part of the season."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Liz Stephen had the second-fastest hill climb of the day. Last year Stephen was fifth overall in the Tour de Ski, which remains the best result ever by an American in the multi-stage event. Stephen has been second in the hill climb twice previously – 2013 and 2014.
  • Sundby won the Tour de Ski for the third year in a row – the most ever for the men. Justyna Kowalczyk won four consecutive women’s Tour de Ski editions from 2010-2013.
  • Seven U.S. skiers completed all eight stages of the Tour de Ski. Noah Hoffman and Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, WA) for the men and Jessie Diggins, Sadie Bjornsen, Liz Stephen, Rosie Brennan (Park City, UT) and Caitlin Gregg (Minneapolis, MN) for the women. It was the strongest overall performance by the USA ever in the Tour.
  • With the completion of the 10th edition of the FIS Tour de Ski, Northug remains the only athlete to start and finish all 10.  
  • The World Cup tour now heads to Planica, Slovenia for a weekend of freestyle sprint racing.

BROADCAST SCHEDULE (times EST)
7:00 p.m. - Hill climb finale, Val di Fiemme - Universal HD

QUOTES
Jessie Diggins
It was a great tour and a cool one for team USA with two wins and seven finishers. One of my big goals for the season was to finish the Tour in the top 10 so I made that goal today! That climb is brutally hard and I was in a world of pain, but I had to tell myself to just keep my feet moving.

Liz Stephen
It was a great day for me today and though the overall result is not what I was aiming for, I am happy with the top 20 finish. It is really special to have started and finished five Tour de Skis now, and this is the biggest crew we have ever had make it through the whole Tour, especially with such strong results, including the three stage podium results we had, two of which were wins. It's very cool to be a part of this team, and I know we will just keep aiming higher and getting better each year during this event. Huge thanks to all the staff we had helping these last 10 days. It is a grueling effort for all involved, but our staff takes a real beating and they fought back hard this year.  

Noah Hoffman
The Tour for me was a step in the right direction from where I've been this season. I was consistent, with five out of six distance races in the World Cup points. I feel that my fitness is very good. I haven't had a breakthrough top-10 result yet this season, but we're only halfway done and I'm feeling very good about the remaining part of the season.

A successful Tour de Ski is only possible with a great service and support team and our entire staff did great work. I had competitive skis every single day, and I was continually impressed by how hard the team was working.

Matt Whitcomb
This year’s Tour was much different than last year as we had many more athletes looking to compete this year. In the Tour, the reality is who can stay healthy and survive the intensity and we had seven athletes who were able to persevere which was a huge success for us.

RESULTS
Men’s 9k
Women’s 9k

FINAL TOUR STANDINGS
Men's final Tour de Ski results
Women's final Tour de Ski results