Canada's Harvey races to cross-country bronze

Canada's Alex Harvey raced to a bronze medal in a skiathlon World Cup pursuit race Saturday. The skier from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished just 4.2 seconds back of winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.
Alex Harvey of Canada competes in the men's world cup cross-country skiathlon Saturday in Lahti, Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva/Associated Press)

Canada's Alex Harvey raced to a bronze medal in a skiathlon World Cup pursuit race Saturday, his second podium finish of the season.

The 23-year-old from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., crossed the finish line just 4.2 seconds back of winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

"It was a good race today for me. Every time I am on the podium it's good," Harvey said. "With 90 skiers on the start line the race was tight especially in the corners. I had to be careful but luckily nobody crashed before me. I like mass starts, I like the adrenaline."

Cologna extended his overall World Cup lead with the win, while Therese Johaug led a Norwegian sweep in the women's race.

Cologna pulled away from his rivals over the last couple of kilometres and then held off Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby to complete the 30-kilometre race in one hour seven minutes, 30.5 seconds. Johnsrud Sundby was 3.7 seconds back.

Most of the top skiers were still together after the 15K classical style portion, and Cologna went up in front early in the freestyle leg but couldn't pull away until the end.

"It was really tight, but you have to stay on top of your game," said Harvey, who moved up one spot into sixth overall in the World Cup standings. "I tried to stay out front between five and 10th spot, and on the outside on corners. The key is to be able to react if something happens."

Harvey, who won a silver medal in the second-last stage of the Tour de Ski earlier this year, recently returned from an altitude camp, and could still feel the effects in his legs.

"I feel in good shape, I just feel I don't have the speed that I usually have which is normal after being at altitude," Harvey said.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 14th and remains in a tie for third in the overall standings. Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., was 36th.

Earlier in the day, Johaug had a more dominant victory after pulling away early from the main pack and maintaining the gap until the end.

The 23-year-old Johaug finished the 15K race in 36 minutes, 52.6 seconds.

Fellow countrywomen Marit Bjoergen and Heidi Weng were second and third, respectively.

Daria Gaiazova of Banff, Alta., was 37th, Perianne Jones of Almonte, Ont., was 50th, while Alysson Marshall of Salmon Arm, B.C., was 52nd.

Bjoergen finished 10.2 seconds back in second place to overtake Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk for the lead in the overall World Cup standings. Weng earned her first individual podium finish by coming in 1.1 seconds behind Bjoergen.

Kowalczyk was eighth.

With files from The Associated Press

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