• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: Alex Harvey 4th, 0.6 seconds from podium in World Cup pursuit

      November 26, 2017

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      It was close to zero degrees C. for Race Day 3 of the Ruka mini-tour in Kuusamo, Finland. These were the final races of the weekend, the skate pursuit events.


      The women's 10k race had lots of excitement, with Sweden's Charlotte Kalla holding a slim 2 second advantage over Norway's Marit Bjoergen at the start. Bjoergen caught Kalla early and they skied together until just after 6 k, when Kalla broke away for a significant 9 second victory. Ragnhild Haga of Norway was 3rd.

      For the Canadians Emily Nishikawa had the fastest pursuit time in 69th place, with Cendrine Browne 72nd and Dahria Beatty 79th, after being lapped on the 2.5k course. Cendrine had the 62nd fastest time on the day.

      26.11.2017, Ruka, Finland (FIN): Emily Nishikawa (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, pursuit women, Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Overall Results
      Results on the day

      Alex at the start

      In the men's 15k, the starters were more spread out, with Johannes Klaebo of Norway having a 38 second lead over Alexander Bolshunov of  Russia. Bolshunov claimed 2 gold and a silver medal at the U23 Championships in Salt Lake City last year. Klaebo, also born in 1996, didn't attend the championships.

      For Canada the main contenders were Alex Harvey starting in 12th, 1.23 behind Klaebo, and Devon Kershaw starting in 28th, 1.59 behind.

      In the early stages of the race there was not a lot of movement in the front positions, but Alex was gradually making ground up on Klaebo, skiing as part of a 2nd chase group.


      Around the halfway mark the race took on a different dynamic, as Klaebo started to tire and the chase groups made some major progress on the top 2. Alex was one of the driving forces behind the pursuing skiers.

      On Saturday after the race Alex said: “The goal coming in this weekend was to be top-10. Tomorrow is going to be a manhunt. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m just going to fight to the end to catch the guys in front,” and over the 2nd half of the race he gave it everything.

      By the 9k mark the race was a "cat and mouse game", with the chase packs catching the leaders, and a group of 11 or 12, all in the hunt for the medals.  This group included Martin Sundby of Norway, who hasn't quite been as dominant so far this weekend, as he has traditionally been.

      Devon was still placed in the high 20's, in a pack of 5 or 6 skiers, all vying for a top 30 World cup points position.


      Alex took his share of the lead to push the pace over the last 5k, at about 13.5 k Martin Sundby made a bit of a break, with Alex chasing after him.

      The surge spread out the field a bit, with 4 or 5 skiers able to hang on for a fight for the medals. The video is worth several thousand words, to describe the final moments of the race.

      So at the finish, Alex came just a little bit short for a medal, but well into his Top 10 goal for the weekend. Considering the time he had to make up on Klaebo and Bolshunov, he should be fairly pleased with the result, despite being agonizingly close to the podium.

      26.11.2017, Ruka, Finland (FIN): Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR), Alex Harvey (CAN), (l-r) - FIS world cup cross-country, pursuit men, Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

      Devon finished 29th for a 2nd consecutive race in the World Cup points, Lenny Valjas maintained his relative position in 44th, and Graeme Killick was 68th, Knute Johnsgaard 81st and Julien Locke was 83rd.
      Time on the day

      Today's result moves Alex into 4th overall in the World Cup standings.

      Audio interview in french, with Alex by Sportcom

      The team now moves on to Lillehammer, Norway for races next weekend.

      26.11.2017, Ruka, Finland (FIN): Alex Harvey (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, pursuit men, Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Modica/NordicFocus.

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