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Diggins picks up another World Cup win ahead of Wirth Park event

Jessie Diggins was almost late to the race course Sunday, after forgetting to set her alarm clock the night before. Once she got there, the Afton native demonstrated perfect timing, surging to a dramatic victory in a 20-kilometer freestyle in Goms, Switzerland.

Diggins chased down Sweden's Frida Karlsson in the final meters to win the mass start race by 0.6 seconds. The victory was her fourth in an individual World Cup event this season, and she has nine top-three finishes, the highest single-season total of her career. Diggins remains atop the overall standings, 283 points ahead of second-place Linn Svahn of Sweden.

The World Cup cross-country circuit will have next weekend off before a pair of events in Canada and the U.S., including a freestyle 10k and sprint Feb. 17-18 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis.

Sunday, Diggins mastered a technically challenging course, remaining at or near the front of the pack throughout the race. Karlsson moved to the lead with 2k remaining, with Diggins in pursuit. Diggins outsprinted Karlsson to the finish to win in 45 minutes, 26.3 seconds, with Karlsson second in 45:26.9.

"(I knew) the last couple kilometers of that race, I had to go as hard as I could," Diggins told US Ski & Snowboard. "It was quite painful. But I'm just really happy."

Even Karlsson tipped her cap. "I had a good feeling in my body," she told fis-ski.com. "But Jessie was strong in the finish, so [there was] nothing to do."

Diggins, 32, now has 19 career World Cup victories and 57 podium finishes.