• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: Alex Harvey 8th, Dahria Beatty 20th at Seefeld World Cup sprint

      January 27, 2018

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       FIS.jpg  seefeld.JPG

      It was a great day for ski racing in Seefeld, Austria as the athletes started World Cup sprint qualifying at the site of the 2019 World Championships. There were sunny skies and temperatures were just a bit above 0 deg. C.


      In women's qualifying Maiken Falla of Norway was the leader, and Dahria Beatty squeaked into the knockout heats by .07 seconds, in 30th place. Dahria had been 43rd at the 700 metre mark.

      Emily Nishikawa was 51st and Cendrine Browne 54th.

      27.01.2018, Seefeld, Austria (AUT): Dahria Beatty (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Seefeld (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      On the men's side, Norwegian sensation Johannes Klaebo set the standard, almost 5 seconds ahead of Italian Federico Pellegrino. Alex Harvey was the only Canadian to qualify for the heats, finishing in 22nd.

      Lenny Valjas and Julien Locke were quite close to qualifying, in 40 and 43rd place. Lenny was about 1.5 seconds from 30th with Julien another 1/2 a second back. Locke had been 30th at the 700 metre mark.

      Knute Johnsgaard was 51st, Bob Thompson 59th, Graeme Killick 61st and Devon Kershaw 70th.

      27.01.2018, Seefeld, Austria (AUT): Alex Harvey (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Seefeld (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Dahria started in the 5th quarterfinal with the 2nd fastest qualifier Greta Laurent of Italy, one of her competition.  It was a good race for Dahria. She was back a bit at the start and then powered through the finish, ending up 4th in the heat behind Laurent, about 1.5 seconds off moving to the semis.

      It was quite a race in the women's final as Laurien Van Der Graaff of Switzerland, who made it to the finals as a "lucky loser" and Sophie Caldwell if the U.S. tied for first in a photofinish. Maiken Falla was 3rd.


      This was Dahria's 2nd best World Cup placing, better than 15th in a Canmore World Cup sprint, and her best European result. This is a good sign leading up to the Olympics.

      In Alex's quarterfinal, Renaud Jay of France and Maciej Starega of Poland set the early pace, with Alex sitting at the back, staying out of trouble, but in contact with the lead.

      At the last hill Dario Cologna had gained the advantage, but Alex turned on the afterburners, overtook the pack and skied comfortable to the heat win. The ease of the heat win should be a little troubling for his competitors, as they head towards Pyeongchang.

      In the semis, Alex stayed a bit more in the pack, just behind the leaders, with Norway's Emil Iversen pushing the pace. Unfortunately, Alex couldn't quite make his mark at the finish, and perhaps slightly mistimed his lunge, finishing 4th, just a half a second from advancing to the finals.

      What is disconcerting is that Russian skier Gleb Retivykh, who is banned from the Olympics was 2nd and advanced to the final where he placed 5th.

      No logic in the FIS decision allowing Retivykh and Sergey Ustiugov to compete. Ustiugov finished between Lenny and Julien, surprisingly not quite at his usual performance levels....

      27.01.2018, Seefeld, Austria (AUT): Alex Harvey (CAN), Dario Cologna (SUI), Maciej Starega (POL), (l-r) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Seefeld (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Chalk up another World Cup victory for Klaebo, about 1/2 second ahead of Lucas Chanavat of France. Calle Halfvarsson of Sweden was 3rd.

      There were certainly some positives for Canada today, with Dahria Beatty and Alex Harvey showing some good form prior to the Olympics. Lenny Valjas seems to be on track for some good performances and Julien Locke showed that he can be a consistently strong sprinter, despite his limited experience at the World Cup level.

      Sunday's races are 10 and 15k mass-start events, which will give the distance athletes a chance to show their pre-Olympic form. Alex should surely be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the finish line.

      27.01.2018, Seefeld, Austria (AUT): Alex Harvey (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Seefeld (AUT). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Alex now stands 4th on the overall World Cup standings, just behind Cologna and Sundby, with Klaebo looking like he should probably just take the Crystal Globe home now.


      An added bonus of Dahria's solid World Cup result today, is that World Cup points determine your entry quota for future World Cups races. These points will move Canada from an allowance of 2 World Cup entries per race next year, to 3 for the Women. More World Cup points later in the year could even boost this number further.

      Earlier today Collin Cameron and Mark Arendz both finished 5th in their respective categories at the Oberreid, Germany, Para-Nordic World Cup.

      Collin Cameron

      Mark Arendz

      Results: Men, Women


      Check the CCC site for a press release later in the day, and remember the World Jr/U23 Championships sprints are on Sunday. Check for the Live Stream tomorrow.

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