CCC RACE Report: Alex Harvey a bit short of the podium, 8th in men's skiathlon

    February 11, 2018



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    It was windy day with blowing snow and around -10 deg. C. as the men began a tough 30k skiathlon, at the Alpensia Nordic Centre.

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    The Canadian team was made up of Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Graeme Killick and Knute Johnsgaard.
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    The first few 100 metres of the race saw a crash between 2 OARs and Simen Krueger of Norway, which would have significance as the race unfolded.

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    Iivo Niskanen of Finland set the early pace with many of the usual suspects, including Alex Harvey close to him in the top group. Graeme Killick made some good early gains, skiing as high as 13th  around the 5 k mark.

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    Graeme Killick Bib 54

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    Niskanen in white leads, Alex Bib 4

    Alex was keeping in contact with the front through the classic portion, and came through the stadium at the 1/2 way point in 4th, with Devon 27th, Graeme 43rd and Knute 63rd.

    The middle of the skate portion saw the pace increase a bit, courtesy of Hans Holund of Norway along with Switzerland's Dario Cologna, and Holund's team mate Martin Sundby. At times Alex seemed to drop back a bit from the front, skiing around 10th position, unable to quite ski with the leaders.

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    11.02.2018, Pyeongchang, Korea (KOR): Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR), Dario Cologna (SUI), Alex Harvey (CAN), Andrew Musgrave (GBR), (l-r) - XXIII. Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, cross-country, skiathlon men, Pyeongchang (KOR). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

    On the last lap with around 3k to go, Simen Krueger made a solo break. He built up a lead of close to 23 seconds at one point, and crossed the line in first, with an 8 second lead.

    The chasers let Krueger go, possibly thinking he wouldn't be able to sustain the pace after his early fall. On the final climb Sundby and Holund made their own push for the finish, with the rest of the group unable to match their move.

    Alex had worked his way back into the top few with a bit over a kilometre to go, but had no energy reserves for a sprint to the finish. He finished 8th, his best ever Olympic result, 1 place better than his performance in the same event in 2010.

    Devon Kershaw was 36th, Graeme Killick ended up 45th, and Knute Johnsgaard was lapped  and finished 62nd.
    Results


    Devon Kershaw audio interview

    Alex Harvey: "The victory was played with three kilometres left. With 1.5 kilometres left, I was in the perfect spot for the silver," Harvey said. "I just did not have the legs. It is disappointing. I can only blame myself."

    All in all, it was not quite the medal that was hoped for, but Alex was in contention for almost all of the race. It was his best ever Olympic performance and there are more races to come. When phenom's such as Johannes Klaebo finish10th, you know the level of competitiveness is very high.

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    Full Event Replay from CBC

    Next up February 13th, the sprints. Qualifying 03:30 EST, Quarters at 06:00 EST, Televised on Sportsnet and Sportsnet1, live streamed on olympics.cbc.ca,

    A lesson in dealing with adversity>

    From pile up to podium! A crash at the start of the race didn't stop Norway's Simen Krueger from landing on top of the podium between his two teammates. #Sweep https://t.co/bbuVWIeRdW pic.twitter.com/OQlKV1ZfST
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