Diggins, Randall roll to sprint team win
Jessie Diggins had to struggle to stay on her feet, but with what was at stake it was going to take more than a near fall to take her out of the picture. Diggins charged through the snow covered streets of Quebec City with a raucous crowd pressed up to the fences to take the lead of a World Cup team sprint leaving it to her mentor and teammate Kikkan Randall to hold off a series of charges in the final lap.
Randall successfully staved off attacks by Nordic powers Germany and Norway to preserve the win.
“It's a great reward to be able to win in front of friends and family,” said Randall, an Alaskan. “Everyone traveled really far to come out and support us today so we wanted to go out and do our job and put on a good show and the atmosphere here was fantastic. It's so cool for us to see the American flag and hear our names called out. I'm excited that I felt strong today.”
Diggins couldn't get enough superlatives into her comments saying, “It was overwhelmingly awesome to be here and win with a crowd so close to home and to be sprinting with the girl who has been my mentor and who I've looked up to my entire life.”
She said the wax tech and coaches had all done their jobs “perfectly,” inspiring her to do the same. “I'm happy I stayed on my feet.”
While Germany took second and Norway I got third, the US also had ninth place from the duo of Ida Sargent and Holly Brooks, underscoring the depth the women's cross country team has developed.
Kazakhstan took the men's win with Denis Volotka and Nikolay Chebotko. Russia and Norway rounded out the podium with a hard closing Canadian squad (Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey) in fifth. The US finished 12th.
Diggins and Randall, US Ski Team photo