DIGGINS (USA) BECOMES THE FIRST NON-EUROPEAN NORDIC SKIER TO WIN TOUR DE SKI
Eight races in 10 days at three venues in two countries. That was the program for world's best cross-country skiers as they kicked off 2021. In its 15th season, the Tour de Ski has become a key event on the FIS Cross-Country Calendar. A stage race made up both skating and classic competitions, it includes a variety of race types—sprints, mass starts, pursuits and individual starts.
Winning the Tour de Ski was a “career goal" for Salomon Nordic athlete Jessie Diggins (USA). Now, the Minnesota native can check that goal off her list, as she won the overall competition on January 10th, becoming the first non-European women to ever do so.
6 PODIUMS IN 8 RACES PAVES THE WAY TO VICTORY
Diggins started the Tour de Ski with a 3rd place finish in the first sprint of 2021 at Val Müstair, Switzerland. The Swiss resort was good to her. She earned two additional podiums there—a 3rd place finish in the mass start classic race and a victory in the 10km pursuit skating race. That victory vaulted her into the overall lead of the Tour.
After a rest and travel day, the athletes were back on track in Toblach, Italy for a 10km individual skating race. Once again, Diggins showed that she's one of the best in that specialty, winning her third world cup race at the Italian resort. She also won there in 2016 and 2017. The next day, Diggins scored an amazing fifth consecutive podium when she finished 3rd in the 10km pursuit classic race there.
The last three stages were held in Val Di Fiemme, Italy. Diggins grabbed a firm grip on the top overall position there, finishing in the top-10 twice—in the 10km mass start classic race and in the sprint classic race. On the final day, skiers took on the now famous Alpe Cermis climb. With 420 meters of elevation in less than four kilometers, it’s recognized as one of the hardest races of the season. Diggins controlled her competitors in the uphill, finishing 2nd in the race to accomplish her dream and join a small club of Tour de Ski winners.
The day after her win, Diggins sent a heartfelt video message to the Salomon Nordic team.
“I just want to thank the entire team at Salomon for all your support,” Diggins said. “I had perfect skis every day and a win in the Tour de Ski doesn’t come without amazing skis and so much hard work from so many people. So I just want to say congratulations to all of you and thank you. You work so hard and you’re always looking for ways to improve and push the limits of the best skis in the world and I hope the Salomon team is celebrating because I certainly am. Now, I’m looking forward to some chocolate, sledding and sleeping in our recovery camp.”
SALOMON’s FIRST TOUR DE SKI VICTORY
In addition to being a massive day for American Nordic skiing, Jessie's victory is also a milestone in Salomon’s Nordic skiing history. More than a medal at a single race, the Tour de Ski requires athletes to maintain top form over the course of 10 days. It also requires top performing equipment at every single race in different skiing techniques at different venues with varying snow conditions.
Diggins relies on Salomon S/LAB Carbon classic and skate skis and boots, including the latest S/LAB Carbon Skate Boot. Salomon technicians are in close contact with her US Ski Team technicians to help select the best pair of skis in her Salomon collection for the snow conditions of the day.
“To win the Tour de Ski is an incredible accomplishment for Jessie because it requires that racers be at their best over 10 grueling days no matter how tired they are,” said Patrice Frison-Roche, Racing Manager for Salomon Nordic team. “It’s a high level of competition that is intense for the athletes and their teams. As Jessie said, it’s a total team effort from the athletes to the technicians to the physios. We’re super proud of her.”
On top of Jessie's victory, Frenchman Maurice Manificat's finished 2nd overall on the men’s side of the Tour de ski and Tatiana Sorina finished 4th in women overall competition. Their collective accomplishments made this the most successful Tour de Ski ever for Salomon’s Nordic ski team.
“To have Jessie win, Maurice finish 2nd and Tatiana finish 4th in the overall is a huge satisfaction and reward for the hard work done by Salomon’s development and racing teams in the past years,” Frison-Roche added. “We’ve made great strides and I’d like to thank everyone for their work!”