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With another win, Jessie Diggins nears best season in U.S. cross-country skiing history

Jessie Diggins earned her fourth individual race win and ninth podium this season in one of the closest cross-country skiing victories of her career on Sunday.

Diggins won a 20km freestyle mass start by six tenths of a second over Swede Frida Karlsson in Goms, Switzerland.

Afterward, she said she almost overslept — forgetting to set an alarm — and nearly missed the race. It’s the second-closest win of her World Cup career.

Diggins now has 17 career individual World Cup race wins and 21 total when including her two Tour de Ski titles, a relay and a team sprint.

This season, she has four individual World Cup wins and nine podiums (five and 10 if you count the final Tour de Ski standings, which the International Ski Federation does).

She had five individual race wins in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. She never before had this many podiums in one season.

By wins and podiums, Kikkan Randall owned the best season by a U.S. cross-country skier before this year — five individual race wins and nine 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 283 points. In 2021, when Diggins became the first American woman to win the overall, her final margin was 268 points.

Diggins’ historic season shifts to North America for races in Canada in two weeks and then 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.