(ISN) – TOBLACH, Ita.—Alex Harvey climbed one more spot in the standings to sixth spot after the 25-kilometre skate-ski pursuit race in Toblach, Italy on Thursday.
Starting in seventh spot, one minute, eight seconds behind Tour leader Petter Northug based on the standings at the midway point of the nine-day trek through Europe, Harvey finally hunted down Switzlerand’s Dario Cologna in the fourth of five laps. Working in the chase pack, Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., was able to pick up one more spot with a time of 55 minutes, 42.9 seconds.
“My optimistic goal was to ski back into the top-five. I just got outsprinted at the end, but I improved on my result so I have to be happy with today,” said Harvey, who clocked the 21st fastest time of the day at 54:35.1. “The group didn’t push too hard today so I’m feeling less tired than I did at this point last year.”
A group of four kept a sizeable lead on the field. Norway’s Petter Northug was first to cross the line with a total time of 53:56.9. Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson finished two seconds off the pace in second at 53:58.9, while Martin Johnsrud Sundby grabbed the final spot on the podium in the fifth stage with a time of 53:59.1.
Canada’s Devon Kershaw picked up five spots on the field to finish in 25h overall after posting a stage time of 54:55.1. Ivan Babikov sits just one place outside the top-30 after skiing to the 23rd fastest time of the day at 54:39.2.
Andrew Musgrave, of Great Britain, posted the fastest time of the day at 53:29.3.
Earlier this week, Harvey captured his 14th career World Cup medal, and sixth of his career at the Tour de Ski, which tests some of the most physically and mentally fit athletes in the world in seven punishing races at five different venues in three countries to determine the king and queen of cross-country skiing. Harvey was fourth at this point of the Tour one year ago.
“I’m pretty much on par with my goals throughout the Tour,” added Harvey. “I’d like another podium and I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s race.”
The Tour will now travel over to Val di Fiemme, Italy for the final two stages this weekend – a 15-kilometre mass start, classic-ski race, followed by the punshing hill climb up Alpe de Cermis.
Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:
1. Petter Northug, NOR, 53:56.9; 2. Calle Halfvarsson, SWE, 53:58.9; 3. Martin Johnsrud Sundby, NOR, 53:59.1; 4. Evgeniy Belov, RUS, 53:59.3; 5. Niklas Dyrhaug, NOR, 55:42.8
6. Alex Harvey, St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., 55:42.9; 25. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont., 58:07.9; 31. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta., 58:10.8