Jessie Diggins claims Tour de Ski; Sophia Laukli wins first World Cup

FIS World Cup Cross - Country Tour de Ski Davos - Individual Sprint
FIS World Cup Cross - Country Tour de Ski Davos - Individual Sprint

Jessie Diggins won a second Tour de Ski title and may be en route to the most successful World Cup season in U.S. cross-country skiing history.

Diggins, an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medalist, won the Tour de Ski, a Tour de France-like stage competition, by 31.6 seconds combining results from seven days of racing different events.

She powered through the final two stages on Saturday and Sunday after injuring a hip in a crash on Thursday before a rest day.

Fellow American Sophia Laukli won Sunday’s finale, including a 2.2-mile climb up Alpe Cermis in Italy with an average gradient of 11.6 percent. It was Laukli’s first World Cup victory. At 23, she broke Diggins' record as the youngest U.S. cross-country skier to win a World Cup.

Diggins began the day with a 43-second lead in the Tour standings, greater than the margin separating second place from sixth place. She finished sixth in Sunday’s stage to comfortably win the overall title.

In 2021, Diggins became the first skier outside Europe to win a Tour, which at the time was the biggest individual title of her career. She since won her first two individual Olympic medals (silver and bronze) and last February became the first American to win an individual world title in the sport.

This season, she has three World Cup wins and eight podiums at the midpoint. Kikkan Randall owns the American single-season records of six wins and 10 podiums in 2012-13.

Diggins also leads the standings for the World Cup overall title, crowning the world's best all-around cross-country skier, by 308 points. In 2021, when Diggins became the first American woman to win the overall, her final margin was 268 points.

The Tour de Ski is arguably the crown jewel of this season because there are no Olympics or world championships.

But Diggins has another carrot ahead -- a World Cup stop in her home state of Minnesota from Feb. 17-18. It's the first cross-country World Cup to be held in the U.S. since 2001.