World Cup cross-country skiing makes its return to the United States for the first time in more than 20 years with races Saturday and Sunday at Theodore Wirth Park, where Minnesotans will have the chance to watch the best skiers in the world compete in sprint and 10K freestyle races. This is the 11th of 15 stops in the World Cup season, which began in late November and runs through March 17. The skiers are coming from five days of competition in Canmore, Alberta, which wrapped up on Tuesday.

Here are the top competitors in the World Cup standings and some Minnesotans besides Afton's Jessie Diggins for spectators to keep their eyes on this weekend:

Women's Standings

1. Jessie Diggins, U.S.

The Afton native was at the forefront of trying to get the World Cup to Minneapolis. After the event was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Diggins will finally get the chance to compete in front of her home fans. She arrives in Minnesota as the most decorated American cross-country skier ever and has yet to slow down at age 32. Last month she won the prestigious Tour de Ski for the second time, and she has added two victories since. Diggins won her fifth race (10th individual podium) of the season Friday in Canmore, finishing 2.6 seconds ahead of France's Delphine Claudel in the 15-kilometer freestyle.

2. Linn Svahn, Sweden

Svahn has picked up post-Tour de Ski victories in Oberhof, Germany; Goms, Switzerland; and Canmore, giving her six total victories and 10 podium finishes. The 24-year-old has rebounded well from an injured shoulder and is improving on her previous-best World Cup overall finish of seventh.

3. Frida Karlsson, Sweden

Karlsson fell to Diggins by just six-tenths of a second in the 20k free in Goms but rebounded with a victory in Canmore in the 20k classic. She, along with Svahn, helped Sweden to a relay victory in Oberhof.

4. Rosie Brennan, U.S.

At 35 years old, Brennan is poised for the highest World Cup overall finish of her career. Brennan has four podium finishes to her name, her most since she had five in the 2020-21 season, and ranks third in distance events.

Complete World Cup standings

Men's Standings

1. Harald Østberg Amundsen, Norway

Amundsen claimed the first Tour de Ski title of his career on Jan. 7. The 25-year-old has finished first in three World Cup events so far, among eight podium finishes. Amundsen, however, has made the podium just once since then, finishing second in the 15k free on Friday.

2. Erik Valnes, Norway

Less than 300 points behind Amundsen, Valnes won both races in Oberhof following the Tour de Ski. He's made the leap to second in the world after finishing 10th in last season's overall standings.

3. Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Norway

The 27-year-old Norwegian star has five Olympic gold medals, nine world championships and four overall World Cup titles, including the last two. He has found his way back into the top three after missing the Tour de Ski with the flu. Since returning from his illness, Klæbo has won four of the eight individual events and is coming off three podium finishes in four Canmore races.

4. Pål Golberg, Norway

Golberg, second in the overall standings last year, picked up his second World Cup win of the season in the 20k classic on Sunday, edging Klæbo by two-tenths of a second. He's also helped Norway win relays in Gällivare, Sweden and Oberhof.

Complete World Cup standings

Minnesotans to watch

Zak Ketterson, Bloomington

Ketterson, 26, who is seventh among Americans and 72nd overall in the World Cup standings, is the only Minnesota man racing at the Loppet Cup. Ketterson skied the second leg on the United States' first-place mixed relay team, anchored by Diggins, in a 2022 World Cup event. He finished 18th, second among American men, in Tuesday's classic sprint final in Canmore.

Alayna Sonnesyn, Plymouth

Sonnesyn, a 27-year-old Wayzata High graduate, is seventh among American women and 68th overall in the World Cup standings. She has taken off in recent weeks on the U.S. SuperTour, winning her last three races on the top national circuit. She's currently ranked second overall in the SuperTour, despite missing the first four races of the season.

Margie Freed, Apple Valley

The current leader on the U.S. SuperTour, Freed, who went to Eastview High, finished on the podium in three of her last four races. The 26-year-old is particularly strong in distance events, with over 30 points more than the closest SuperTour racer.

Erin Bianco, Ely

Bianco is 11th in U.S. SuperTour points, having not raced on the tour since the U.S. National Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, on Jan 7. But she qualified for the World Cup event in Germany last month and finished 35th in the sprint classic, fifth among American women.

Renae Anderson, Golden Valley

A Hopkins High grad, the 25-year-old won a sprint SuperTour race in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Jan. 20, beating Sonnesyn by less than a second. She's finished in the top 10 in three of her last four competitions.