• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: Alex Harvey 4th on Tour de Ski Stage 3

      January 1, 2018

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      Stage 3 of the Tour de Ski saw +10 degree C. temperatures and lots of sun, as Alex Harvey looked to rebound from an "average day" on Sunday's 15k classic event.

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      Alex had dropped to 9th position, 53 seconds behind Tour leader Sergey Ustiugov of Russia. Swiss star Dario Cologna, 3 X Tour de Ski champ, started just behind Ustiugov in the 15k skate pursuit.

      Today Alex would have the benefit of skiing with Norway's Lars Holund and several other skiers, as they looked to make inroads on the leaders. The 3rd place skier, Alexander Bolshunov of Russia, was starting about 45 seconds in front.

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      Alex, in red, at the 5k mark

      Early in the race, Cologna caught Ustiugov and at the 5k mark broke away for what would in the end be a solo victory.

      Alex was a key member of a chase group that formed, gradually picking off some of the leaders from Stage 2, including Alexey Poltoranin of Kazakhstan and Martin Sundby of Norway.

      At the 1/2 way point the chase group had cut Bolshunov's lead for 3rd place, to 30 seconds.

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      The chase group 01.01.2018, Lenzerheide, Switzerland (SUI): Hans Christer Holund (NOR), Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR), Alex Harvey (CAN), Iivo Niskanen (FIN), (l-r) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, pursuit men, Lenzerheide (SUI). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Around 10k Bolshunov showed some signs of faltering, as the chase group continued in strong pursuit. It was at 13k when Sundby decided to make a final push for 3rd, with Alex also looking to bridge the gap.

      In the last kilometre Alex was able to make up another 10 seconds on Bolshunov, but finished just a second off the podium in his final sprint.



      Men's results

      All in all it was a good day and a goiod start to 2018 for Alex, despite finishing just short of the podium. Cologna established himself as the one to beat, with the Russians Ustiugov and Bolshunov fading a bit on the day.  It will be interesting to see how their recovery protocols will serve them for Stage 4.

      Alex finished as the 4th fastest skier on the day, picking up over 5 seconds on Cologna, with French skier Maurice Manificat setting the standard. Manificat, a strong skater, shouldn't be counted out in the overall standings, with the final stage being a skate up the Alpe Cermis.

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      01.01.2018, Lenzerheide, Switzerland (SUI): Alex Harvey (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, tour de ski, pursuit men, Lenzerheide (SUI). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Alex is now ranked 4th on the Tour standings after the 3nd stage, 62 seconds behind Cologna, but only 6 seconds from 3rd. In the overall World Cup standings he remains 6th.

      The racers now have a "day off"/ travel day, and start Stage 4, a classic sprint in Oberstdorf, Germany, on Wednesday.

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