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Cross Country Canada —Ivan Babikov skis to 30th, Devon Kershaw places 31st in second last stage—

 

VAL DI FIEMME, Ita.— Alex Harvey was back to feeling good about himself and the sport he loves with a seventh-place finish in the second last stage of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

 

One day after a disappointing 37th place finish, which dashed any hopes the 27-year-old had of contending for a podium position in the overall, Harvey arrived at a course he loves and turned in one of his best results of this year’s eight-race cross-country ski grind through Europe with a seventh-place finish in the men’s 15-kilometre classic-ski race. 

 

“I was much better today and I am back to enjoying the sport today,” laughed Harvey, while recovering for the final stage on Sunday. “I was tired this morning for sure, but I’m happy to have the best stage of this year’s Tour. Every time I put a bib on I want to be in the top-10 with the ultimate goal of being on the podium. So anytime you are in the top-10 it is satisfying.”

 

Harvey charged his way around one of the most demanding courses in the world loaded with steep climbs and difficult flat sections in a time of 40:26.5.

 

“It was really tough conditions again today. The skis were fast. I went with slicker skis. The kick was on the limit going up the hills, but I was fast on the downhills,” said Harvey. “This stage of the race it is like a lottery with the body. The guys on the podium in the overall are the guys who can be stable the whole time. I had good skis but just no power in the body yesterday. Today, the body was totally different. It was not amazing today, but it was back to where I believe I belong.”

 

Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby has certainly been winning the lottery. The leader of the Tour de Ski from day one captured top spot on the podium in the seventh stage with a time of 39:55.2. Niklas Dyrhaug, also of Norway was second at 40:02.9, while Alexey Poltoranin rounded out the podium in third with a time of 40:07.8.

 

It was a good day for the other two Canadian veterans in the field. Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., skied into the final spot in the top-30 with a time of 41:54.5. Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., finished just behind his Canadian mate in 31st at 41:59.7.

 

The punishing course on the spectacular Val di Fiemme track has been kind to Harvey and the Canadian squad over the years. Harvey has two of his Tour de Ski podiums in Val di Fiemme and also captured a bronze medal on the challenging course when it hosted the 2013 World Championships.

 

“The finish has been good here for me. I feel if I’m in a pack coming towards the finish line I am able to sneak around a couple of guys,” said Harvey. “Val di Fiemme is a hard course and has a bit of everything. It has hard uphills, but the flat sections are also tough. I feel on a good day I am a complete skier and Val di Fiemme demands you to be a complete skier.”

 

The eight-race Tour de Ski held over the last 10 days in Switzerland, Germany and Italy will wrap up on Sunday with the climb up Mount Cermis.

 

CCC is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, and Mackenzie Investments – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at www.cccski.com.

 

Complete Results: http://www.fis-ski.com/cross-country/events-and-places/event=37414/race=25789/

 

Top-Five and Canadian Results:

1. Martin Johnsrud Sundby, NOR, 39:55.2; Niklas Dyrhaug, NOR, 40:02.9; 3. Alexey Poltoranin, KAZ, 40:07.8; 4. Francesco De Fabiani, ITA, 40:25.4; 5. Finn Haagen Krogh, NOR, 40:26.1

Canadian Results:

7. Alex Harvey, St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., 40:26.5; 30. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta., 41:54.5; 31 Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont., 41:59.7.

 

*****

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Canada

T: 403-620-8731