(ISN) – RYBINSK, Rus.—Alex Harvey led Canada’s Nordic skiers to a 10th-place finish on a frigid and demanding World Cup course in Rybinsk, Russia on Friday.
Competing in his first race since the Tour de Ski where he captured his first medal of the season, the 26-year-old of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., clocked a time of 38:09.1 in the men’s 15-kilometre skate-ski race.
“My legs were a bit stiff in the first lap, but I ended the race strong to finish in the top-10,” said Harvey. “The skis were great.”
Canada’s Ivan Babikov returned to his birth country where he shook off the cold to put down one of his best races of the year. Babikov, now of Canmore, Alta., skied to 22nd spot at 38:46.7.
“It is good to be back in Russia, but it is colder than I remembered! The fresh, cold snow definitely made a big difference in the speed so it was hard to ski fast out there,” said Babikov.
Babikov, 34, skied with early leader, Maurice Manificat of France, who was setting a strong pace for about four kilometres before getting dropped.
“I was able to stay with him on the flats and gradual stuff, but he was very strong and quick on the uphills, and I hop-skated all of it,” added Babikov. “I’m satisfied that I scored some points (in the top-30). My body was feeling good and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
While Switzerland’s ace Dario Cologna won the race with a time of 36:53.4, it was the Russians who dominated grabbing the next four spots in the standings. Evgeniy Belov skied to the silver medal at 37:09.7, while Sergey Ustiugov clocked a third-place time of 37:22.2.
Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., finished 36th at 39:35.7, while Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., placed 43rd (40:11.9).
The final World Cup continues on Saturday in Rybinsk with the sprint races.
Complete Results: www.fis-ski.com
Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:
1. Dario Cologna, SUI, 36:53.4; 2. Evgeniy Belov, RUS, 37:09.7; 3. Sergey Ustiugov, RUS, 37:22.2; 4. Alexander Legkov, RUS, 37:29.2; 5. Stanislav Volzhentsev, RUS, 37:55.1
10. Alex Harvey, Saint Ferreol les Neiges, Que., 38:09.1; 22. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta., 38:46.7; 36. Devon Kershaw, Subury, Ont., 39:35.7; 43. Graeme Killick, Fort McMurray, Alta., 40:11.9