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American Jessie Diggins Becomes First Non-European Athlete to Win Tour de Ski

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Jessie Diggins of the United States became the first non-European athlete to win the Tour de Ski after she triumphed in the women's event. Photo: ALESSANDRO TROVATI • ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Nancy Gillen |

Jessie Diggins of the United States became the first non-European athlete to win the Tour de Ski after she triumphed in the women’s event.

The 29-year-old claimed the overall victory after she finished second in today’s 10 kilometer mass start in Val Di Fiemme, the third stop in the three-venue event which started in Val Müstair in Switzerland on New Year’s Day. 

She crossed the line in 36min 54.8sec, just behind Ebba Andersson of Sweden in 36:45.6, in an event that is also part of the International Ski Federation Cross-Country World Cup.

Delphine Claudel of France was third in 37:18.2. 

Diggins, the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic team sprint gold medallist, topped the overall standings with a total time of 3 hours 04min 45.8sec.

Yulia Stupak of Russia was 1:24.8 off the leader to place second, with Andersson just over two minutes off the pace to take third. 

Diggins became the first non-European athlete to win the Tour de Ski in its 15-year history. 

Skiers from Norway had won the previous seven women’s titles, but the national team missed the entire event due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is a lifelong goal,” Diggins said. 

“It means a lot. 

“We had an amazing team atmosphere this whole time and amazing support and help and so many cheers from all around the world so I think it really gave me wings up the hill today.

“It’s so cool for our country to show that it’s possible and now I’m looking forward to resting.”

Alexander Bolshunov of Russia retained the men’s title after also finishing second in the 10km mass start. 

Compatriot Dennis Spitsov was the winner in 32:41.0, with Bolshunov 13.3 seconds back. 

Third place went to Maurice Manificat of France in 32:56.2.

The result was enough to see the 24-year-old Bolshunov top the overall standings in 3:32:32.3, with Manificat 3:23.9 behind. 

Spitsov took third place overall after finishing 3:36.7 behind the leader. 

“I’m delighted to take my second consecutive Tour de Ski title,” Bolshunov said. 

“These 10 days went by very quickly and I’m very happy that International Ski Federation was able to organise this event. 

“I felt safe and I’m really happy that I was able to win.”

The FIS Cross-Country World Cup is scheduled to continue on January 23 and 24 in Lahti in Finland.   

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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