NOVA MESTO, Cze.—Alex Harvey battled through challenging conditions to post a solid seventh place finish in a 15-kilometre cross-country ski race in Nova Mesto, Czech Republic on Saturday.
Coming off the grueling Tour de Ski and a bout of illness last week, the 27-year-old Harvey grinded out the top-10 result after clocking a time of 34:46.2 in the skate-ski race.
“The snow was really soft and completely different than yesterday so it was extremely slow today and I had to work the whole way,” said Harvey. “I really wanted to try and catch on to someone but it seemed I skied alone the entire day which made things tough – especially in the windy parts of the course.”
Harvey was in the hunt for the medals, skiing in the top-three for the first half of the race before fatigue started to set in and he dropped off the pace.
“I felt pretty good today. I was in the top-five most of the way. I’m definitely happy with a top-10 result. That is the goal every time I race,” said Harvey, of Saint Ferreol les Neiges, Que. “Our wax techs did a great job on the skis today. Overall it was a good day.”
Harvey finished 41 seconds off the leading pace set by Maurice Manificat, of France, who clocked a golden time of 34:04.9. Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby finished second at 34:15.7, while Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov claimed the bronze with a time of 34:17.9.
Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., finished 38th at 36:07.1. Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., skied to 63rd (37:34.6), and Knute Johnsgaard, of Whitehorse, was 76th (39:18.2).
Emily Nishikawa, of Whitehorse, finished as the top Canadian in the women’s 10-kilometre skate-ski race. Nishikawa posted a time of 27:30.2 for 44th place.
With illness rolling through the Canadian women’s camp, the young Canucks dug deep to gain additional experience on the elite circuit. Cendrine Browne, of St-Jerome, Que., was 54th at 28:32.9. Dahria Beatty, also of Whitehorse, was 57th (28:58.2), while Maya MacIsaac-Jones (Athabasca, Alta.) was 61st (30:01.6) and Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Que., was 62nd (30:12.9).
The Norwegians grabbed the top-two spots on the women’s podium. Therese Johaug was first at 25:09.1, while Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen skied to the silver medal with a time of 25:13.7. Jessica Diggins, of the United States, won the race for the bronze medal with a time of 25:18.4.
The World Cup wraps up in Nova Mesto on Sunday with the men’s and women’s relay races.