by Chris Dornan
March 8, 2014, OSLO, Nor. (ISN) – It was a medal-winning performance by Alex Harvey just to climb back into the top-15 in a punishing Holmenkollen 50-kilometre classic mass starts in Oslo, Norway on Saturday.
With temperatures well above normal, Canada’s relentless Harvey grinded out the fight of his season to finish 14th with a time of two hours, 11 minutes, 25.7 seconds (2:11:25.7).
Skiing on boards too stiff for the tough, slushy conditions, the 25-year-old Harvey dropped to near the back of the pack in 46th place after two of six laps. Changing to a new pair of skis, the St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. native catapulted up towards the lead group into the top-15.
It became a three-man race just over the mid-way point of the 50-kilometre trek as the leaders pulled away from the field, which was slowly stretching out. When the dust finally settled, and bodies dropped across the finish line, it was Sweden’s Daniel Richardsson finishing on top with a time of 2:07:29.5.
Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby thrilled the passionate hometown crowd with a silver medal ski, stopping the clock at 2:-7:37.7, while Russia’s Alexander Legkov locked up the bronze with a time of 2:07:44.0.
Canada’s Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., struggled with kick on his skis like Harvey over the first two laps and dropped out of the race. Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., hung on for 42 kilometres, the didn’t have the body to finish the race today.
The result puts Harvey into sixth place in the Overall World Cup standings. Harvey also sits fifth overall in the distance standings with the World Cup Finals ahead next weekend in Falun, Sweden.
Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 58,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas,. Canadian Pacific and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com.
Complete Results: www.fis-ski.com
Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:
1. Daniel Richardsson, SWE, 2:07:29.5; 2. Martin Johnsrud Sundby, NOR, 2:07:37.7; 3. Alexander Legkov, RUS, 2:07:44.0; 4. Iivo Niskanen, FIN, 2:08:51.8; 5. Lars Nelson, SWE, 2:09:24.8
14. Alex Harvey, St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., 2:11:25.7; DNF. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont.; DNF. Graeme Killick, Fort McMurray, Alta.