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Diggins Captures Career-best 5th Overall to Match US Top Result at Tour de Ski – Weng Wins Title


January 08, 2017 (Val di Fiemme) – The USA’s Jessie Diggins captured a career-best 5th overall to match the best American result as the Tour de Ski wrapped up on Sunday with 9km FR Pursuit final Stage 7 won by Norway’s Heidi Weng for the overall title.

Jessica Diggins (USA) [P] Nordic Focus
Finland’s Krista Parmakoski claimed second with Stina Nilsson of Sweden in third as Diggins’ teammate Liz Stephen took home the second fastest time of the day moving up from 19th to finish 14th overall. Only Weng skied faster up the renowned Alpe Cermis climb. Fellow American Rosie Brennan was 28th for her best Tour finish.

Women's final podium [P] Nordic Focus
“I was really proud of the team – athletes, staff, volunteers and coaches for straining together day after grueling day and coming out strong in the tour! It was hard, but so worth it! Today I was really happy with my pacing – I tried to catch Ingvild and didn’t quite get there but to have my best TDS finish ever made it a great feeling at the top of the mountain,” said Diggins.

Jessica Diggins (USA) [P] Nordic Focus
In an aggressive climb up Alpe Cermis, Diggins was within about eight seconds of Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway in fourth. But Oestberg sensed the danger and bolted away trying to reel in Nilsson, but the Swede was not easy prey either and did the same when the Norwegian got too close.

“Today I was really happy with my pacing,” said Diggins. “I tried to catch Ingvild and didn’t quite get there but to have my best Tour de Ski finish ever made it a great feeling at the top of the mountain.”

Liz Stephen [P] Nordic Focus
For Stephen it was the third time in her career she’s been second fastest on the legendary climb. “Cermis doesn’t get any easier, but I look forward to the challenge all year,” shared Stephen.

So what’s her strategy? “Just keep pushing, just look down and don’t think about how far away the finish is or how much pain you have left to endure. Just think about the moment you are in,” commented Stephen.

“Jessie matched her top-5 finish at Ski Tour Canada too. She’s a force to be reckoned with and it’s really cool to see her mature and grow into the strong athlete I knew she could be. Plus our staff is the best staff an athlete could hope for. They work so hard and always have a smile on their faces. It’s truly amazing,” she added.

(l-r) Stephen, Brennan, Diggins [P] Matt Whitcomb

Brennan showed her experience and talent in rebounding to claim a top-30 result. “This was only my second time up Alp Cermis, but it was definitely easier knowing what to expect. I struggled on the flat section, but was able to find a solid groove on the climb and pick people off one by one. I am very happy with my climbing.

“This was definitely not the Tour I had hoped for, but I am really happy that I was able to turn things around in the last few stages. I am always inspired by my teammates. It was especially nice to see Sadie get her first podium. It gives me confidence to see them succeed because I know it is possible for me too,” commented Brennan.

Following a few days to recover the US team will gather for a training camp in nearby Seiser Alm. “I love that place and I fully intend to go sledding every day,” quipped Diggins.

The World Cup returns next weekend with a freestyle sprint and distance race in the Tour town of Toblach, Italy.

Results here.
Overall here.

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