Canadian Alex Harvey overcame cold winds and soft snow conditions to finish ninth in the second stage of a Ski Tour Canada competition Wednesday.

Harvey, 27, of Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., posted a time of 46 minutes 21.8 seconds in the 17.5-kilometre classic-ski mass start race.

Norway took the top two positions in the men's race with Emil Iversen just over five seconds ahead of compatriot Petter Northug. Russia's Sergey Ustiugov, the sprint winner Tuesday, was third.

"Coming in I was only nine seconds behind the leaders so I tried to go for the podium in the second lap, and I kind of blew up," said Harvey. "I was just dead so I drafted the whole way around and settled for a top-10.

"It was tricky out there today. It was quite cold, and the snow was soft on the corners. I have to be happy. I was able to move from 10th to sixth in the overall so I am happy with where my position is."

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 17th in 46:44.3. Ivan Babikov of Canmore, in 29th and Fort McMurray's Graeme Killick, 50th rounded out the Canadians.

"Finishing in 17th place is not something we are going to be lighting fireworks off for, but at the same time it is a step in the right direction," said Kershaw.

It was a Norwegian sweep in the women's race as Therese Johaug finished one minute ahead of Heidi Weng. Astrid Uhrenholdt was another 10 seconds back, for third.

Emily Nishikawa of Whitehorse was the top Canadian in 45th place, while Cendrine Browne of St-Jerome, Que. was 48th.

With files from CBC Sports