Maxim Vylegzhanin edged Russian teammate Alexander Legkov on Sunday in a 15-kilometre classical pursuit to win the second stage of the Tour de Ski while Canada's Alex Harvey came up short in a sprint finish for bronze and settled for fifth place.
'I think I'm skiing the best I ever have technically and I'm really happy with how things went today especially in the tough conditions.' — Canadian skier Alex Harvey
Vylegzhanin crossed the line 0.1 seconds ahead of Legkov, with prologue winner Petter Northug of Norway trailing 6.5 seconds behind in third. Northug was 0.2 seconds ahead of Dario Cologna of Switzerland and 1.2 seconds ahead of Harvey.
The fifth-place finish was the best result of the season for the St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., skier.
"I think I'm skiing the best I ever have technically and I'm really happy with how things went today especially in the tough conditions," said Harvey. "I felt similar to yesterday. I was able to go fast, but I was just missing a bit of speed for the sprint finish.
I'm not tired, and feeling really good, so that is good for me looking ahead."
Vylegzhanin took the overall lead in the seven-leg World Cup event with the victory.
"I have no expectations for the overall, but I want podiums every race," Harvey said. "I have been out here a few years now and I am not intimidated skiing with these guys. I feel I belong in this top group, but this year is a good reminder to not take anything for granted. `
"My slow start this year reminds me to appreciate the good days."
Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., was 19th, Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 27th and Len Valjas of Toronto was 33rd.
Vylegzhanin now leads Legkov by 5.1 seconds going into a sprint stage Jan. 1 in Val Muestair, Switzerland, before the tour moves to Italy.
Defending champion Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland won the women's 9K pursuit by 41.4 seconds over Therese Johaug of Norway. Johaug trails Kowalczyk 46.4 seconds in tour standings.
Anne Kylloenen of Finland was third in the race, while prologue winner Kikkan Randall of the United States dropped back to 14th.