Just hours into 2019, Olympians Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins earned their first podium finishes of the year. Caldwell took second and Diggins third behind Sweden’s Stina Nilsson in the women’s freestyle sprint, the third stage of the prestigious Tour de Ski cross-country skiing competition on Tuesday in Val Muestair, Switzerland. It was a photo finish between the two Americans, who were both 2.27 seconds behind Nilsson, the defending Olympic champion, with the win in 3:31.91.
Diggins, who finished third overall in the Tour de Ski last season and became the first American to reach the overall podium in the event, also moved into first place in the overall standings with a 1.1-second lead over Norway’s Ingvild Oestberg. The Olympic gold medalist from Afton, Minnesota, took third place in Stage 1 of the seven-stage competition on Saturday, also a sprint, and placed sixth in the 10K freestyle on Sunday to move to second overall in the standings.
“I think it is a step in the right direction today,” Harvey said. “The result is good, the body is feeling decent too and that is positive for a distance race. I was looking for a bit better, but I am really happy with that last lap. I emptied the tank and gained about six spots so that was good. I need to make sure I’m a bit further up the ranking (heading into the final lap) so I’m able to fight for the top-five or 10. Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov won the second stage with a time of 30:34.1. Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger finished 12 seconds back in second and Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov rounded out the men’s podium in third.
As largely expected, Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo and Sweden’s Stina Nilsson won the men’s and women’s races respectively today, as stage three of the International Ski Federation Cross-Country Tour de Ski took place in Val Muestair.Klæbo took the win in the men’s event in the Swiss resort having already come out on top at stage one’s sprint in Tolbach and the World Cup stop in Davos on December 15.Nilsson, meanwhile, claimed her victory having also won in both Tolbach and Davos.Klæbo took his win on the 1.4 kilometres course in a time of 3min 3.78sec, beating Italy’s Federico Pellegrino by 2.35 seconds.Third was Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov, just over three seconds behind.The Tour du Ski leader before today’s race, another Russian Alexander Bolshunov, did not make the final.It means he has now dropped to third in the standings, with Klæbo taking the lead and Ustiugov jumping into second place.