World Cup rookie Jessie Diggins continues to perform like a veteran throughout her Eastern European tour scoring another career high finish. Diggins took fifth place in an absolutely frigid 10k mass start skate race in Rybinsk.
“For some reason, I’ve been racing well in the cold – must be because I’m from Minnesota! I’m used to racing in some pretty cold weather. The skis were phenomenal today as I continue to be impressed by our wax techs and coaching staff. They absolutely nailed the wax and I felt like I was flying on the downhills!” said Diggins.
This is her sixth individual World Cup start and first mass start. Diggins had taken 6th in the Moscow sprint two days earlier, and used the experience to make calculated moves in today’s competition. She waited for the perfect moment before she took on the massive pack to fight her way into the front. Diggins’ finish is the best U.S. women’s distance result in modern World Cup history. She finished 26.3 seconds behind Norway’s Marit Bjoergen. Devon Kershaw form Canada won the men’s 15k.
Diggins continues to improve on each competition, achieving personal bests at every turn, “I’m definitely a little shocked by the results of the past two races, but I’ve been super happy and having fun over on the World Cup. Whenever I’m happy I tend to race faster. Just loving the job!”
Chris Grover, Head Cross Country Coach elaborated on Diggins’ performance, “During the first lap was I was getting psyched for Jessie thinking she might have a top-25 finish. On the second lap I thought a top-20 might be possible. Then a top-15. I couldn’t believe it. She was skiing so damned fast compared to the field in the second half of the race!”
Teammate Kikkan Randall opted to sit out the mass start to rest after being ill earlier in the week. She remains fourth in the FIS World Cup overall.
Coming up on Sunday is a skiathalon, which combines freestyle and classic legs, is scheduled for Sunday in Ryubinsk.