Alex Harvey Skis into Top-15 to Lead Canadians at Midway Point

Alex Harvey

(ISN) – TOBLACH, Ita.—Alex Harvey skied into seventh place overall as the Tour de Ski reached its midway point in Toblach, Italy on Wednesday.

Harvey, of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished as the top Canuck in 14th spot in the men’s 10-kilometre classic-ski race which is the fourth of seven scheduled events on the epic cross-country ski journey through Europe. Harvey clocked a time of 23 minutes, 28.2 seconds.

“It was a top-15 so that is good, but not great either,” said the 26-year-old Harvey. “My first split was a little slow so I think I went a little hard in the middle of the race. I just started losing some energy later in the race.”

Athletes completed two laps on the five-kilometre course, which consists of an uphill for the first half followed by a long downhill. The course became icy due to the mild weather conditions in Europe, which made things interesting for many of the top skiers.

Alex Poltoranin, of Kazakhstan, won the race with a time of 22:51.8. Russia’s Evgeniy Belov skied to the silver at 22:52.3, while Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby clocked-in at 22:56.0 to grab the final spot on the podium.

Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., also had a solid outing finishing in 21st spot with a time of 23:40.2. Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., also began to make his move on the field with many of the most difficult races remaining in the Tour. Babikov posted a time of 24:02.9 to finish 32nd.

Harvey’s top-15 finish moves him into seventh place in the overall standings of the Tour de Ski as athletes prepare for a 35-kilometre distance race on Thursday to mark the fifth stage.

“My body feels good and I’m feeling confident,” said Harvey. “I just need to focus on recovery right now, and I’m looking forward to the distance race tomorrow.”

Kershaw sits 30th in the overall standings, while Babikov moved into 33rd place. Norway’s Petter Northug is the leader as the Tour heads into its final weekend.