Minnesotan Jessie Diggins reached the top step on a World Cup podium Sunday, leading a historic 1-2 U.S. finish in a women's cross-country skiing race.
Diggins, a 2018 Olympic champion from Afton, won a 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit in Val Mustair, Switzerland, the third event of the prestigious Tour de Ski.
Rosie Brennan finished second, giving the United States its first sweep of the top two spots in a World Cup cross-country race.
Diggins, Brennan and Swede Frida Karlsson began to break away on the second of four 2.5k laps, and at the midway point they were 24 seconds ahead of the next skier. Diggins overtook Karlsson on the final downhill and finished in 26 minutes, 54.1 seconds, with Brennan 5.6 seconds behind her. Karlsson was third, 10.7 seconds behind Diggins.
"Frida was amazing, and I kept trying to push the poles and be there, but I kept thinking that every lap I'm going to get dropped," Diggins said. "I was just hanging on by a thread and I just got really excited for the downhill. I thought that maybe I could hold on, and if not, then I blow up, but it was worth a shot."
Diggins, who won the 2018 Olympic team sprint with now-retired Kikkan Randall, made quite a weekend of the first three days of the prestigious 10-day event. She finished third Friday in a freestyle sprint, was bumped up to second after a disqualification and since has been returned to third place because of a successful appeal of the disqualification.
On Saturday she finished third in a 10k classic mass start race, and on Sunday she won for the first time since Feb. 16, 2019, and for the eighth time on the World Cup circuit. She leads the Tour de Ski standings with a time of 59 minutes, 36 seconds through three of eight events, and Brennan stands second, five seconds behind.
Diggins is the only American to have finished in the top three overall at the Tour de Ski, having placed third in 2018.
Brennan, who won back-to-back World Cup races last month, extended her World Cup overall points lead.
It helps that the dominant Norwegians have sat out races amid the coronavirus pandemic. Diggins isn't letting that dim her enthusiasm.
"I love this team, and we have such a positive environment," Diggins said. "It's a fun time to be on this team."