VAL DI FIEMME, Italyâ€¨(Jan. 4) – World Champion Jessie Diggins (Afton, MN) earned a career-best World Cup classic result Saturday, skiing into 10th in the Val di Fiemme 5k, the sixth stage of the Tour de Ski. The result makes Diggins the top U.S. athlete in the Tour standings in 11th, while teammate Liz Stephen (E. Montpelier, VT) is 14th. Stephen finished 21st while Norway’s Therese Johaug took the day’s victory. The Tour wraps up Sunday with the infamous 9k pursuit race up Alpe Cermis, where Stephen was second fastest a year ago.
World Champion Jessie Diggins earned a career-best World Cup classic result Saturday, skiing into 10th in the Val di Fiemme 5k, the sixth stage of the Tour de Ski. (Getty Images/Agence Zoom/Vianney Thibaut)
I was really psyched on the race today because it was my best classic race on the World Cup by far, and a great confidence booster for me, as classic skiing is still something I'm trying to figure out.
The conditions were interesting as it was raining the whole day and some of the field went on zeroes and some went on klister, myself included. The tracks were soaked and mostly hard and fairly fast, and my Salomons were running great thanks to our crew.
I didn't ask for splits out there today because I knew I had a pacing strategy and would be going as hard as I could, so I asked the coaches to yell out technique and encouragement, which definitely helped a lot!
I'm excited for tomorrow's climb, mostly because of the feeling you get once you're standing at the top. It's this rush of emotion when you realized that you just finished an impossibly, insanely hard climb at the end of a long series of races, and it was crazy hard but you did it.
Today was pretty solid for sure. We had tricky conditions out there, but our wax techs handled them super smoothly and gave us good skis.
I am really excited for tomorrow. I look forward to this race all year and I have high hopes for reaching the top 10 tomorrow, which was my goal leading into the Tour. Starting in 14th tomorrow, only 30 seconds from the top 10 should make for an exciting race. I hope to be able to ski with Anna Haag (Sweden) on the flats and be able to work together to try and make up some time before the climb as well. I am mostly pumped that my parents are here watching and that my brother and his girlfriend are going to watch the race back home at 3:30 a.m.!