• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • Haywood RACE Report: Alex Harvey 21st in Ruka World Cup sprint

      November 24, 2017

        

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      The 2017/2018 World Cup season got underway this morning in Kuusamo, Finland, with the classic sprint qualifiers.

      Temperatures had moderated a bit, with race temperatures around -5 deg. C. and there was a fair amount of snow falling on the course.

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      The top qualifier was Ida Ingemarsdotter of Sweden, followed by her teammate Hanna Falk and Sophie Caldwell of the U.S. The top Canadian was Dahria Beatty in 64th, with Emily Nishikawa 74th and Cendrine Browne 87th.

      There were a few curious results in qualifying, notably the absence of Norwegian sprint stars Bjoergen, Falla, Oestberg and Weng from the heats and the presence of 2 Belarusian athletes.

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      24.11.2017, Ruka, Finland (FIN): Dahria Beatty (CAN) - FIS world cup cross-country, individual sprint, Ruka (FIN). www.nordicfocus.com. © Rauschendorfer/NordicFocus.

      Qualifying results women

      On the men's side Norwegian sprint star showed fine form with a dominant win of over 2 seconds ahead of 2 Finnish athletes. Alex Harvey was lucky 13th, but was the only Canadian to qualify for the heats.

      Julien Locke, a relative World Cup rookie for Canada had a decent result, 3 seconds from qualifying, with Lenny Valjas 63rd, Knute Johnsgaard 73rd, Devon Kershaw 74th, Graeme Killick 85th and Jesse Cockney 95th. Russell Kennedy didn't start as a precautionary measure, as he was showing some early symptoms of a cold.
      Qualifying results men

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      Alex raced in the 5th quarterfinal heat, with Finland's Iivo Niskanen and 3 of the 10 Finnish skiers that made the heats.

      Marko Kilp of Estonia and Lauri Vuorinen were at the front for most of the heat, with Alex back in 5th or 5th place in the early stages.  The course ends with a long steep hill to the stadium, and Alex tried to make a move towards the front mid as the hill approached, but couldn't find another gear to challenge the group.

      At the finish it was Vuorinen that cruised through the line, with Alex pushing through for 5th position in the last few metres.



      In the women's final, Stina Nilsson of Sweden fought tooth and nail with Sadie Bjornsen of the US, before prevailing by a meter or so at the finish. Russia's Yulia Belorukova was 3rd, and the only Norwegian that made the semis, Kathrine Rolsted Harsem, was 5th.

      A good day for the U.S. team and as their wax truck says, "they compete clean".

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      Photo, Chad Salmela, twitter

      Women's: Heats bracket ; Final results



      In the men's final Norway's Johannes Klaebo, raced out of the start, well ahead of the pack and held on for a 2 second win at the finish over fellow countryman Paal Goldberg and Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson. Alex finished 21st overall and interestingly, 3 of his competitors in the quarters, finished in the top 13.

       


      "1st competition of the season! Very good in qualifying, a little rusty with the tactics for the 1/4 final but good sensations and good skis! Looking forward to tomorrow's 15km!"

      Men's: Heats bracket ; Final results

      So not an entirely satisfying day for the Canadian team, but it is early in the season, and they will be looking for improved results in the distance races tomorrow.

      Coming up Saturday are 10 and 15k classic interval start races.

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