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Cross Country Canada – SEEFELD, Aut.— Alex Harvey was hoping for a fairytale ending to his final World Championships, but in the end didn’t have the kick needed to hop onto the podium for a sixth time in his career.

The 30-year-old finished the men’s 50-kilometre skate-ski race with a time of 1:51:09.8 in Seefeld, Austria.

“Of course I wanted a better result, but I was really able to execute my plan to the dot,” said Harvey, who won the World Championship marathon two years ago.

“It was a dream for me to come away from these World Championships with a podium, but I think it was a good day. I just wasn’t strong enough on the skis.”

Harvey showed his fight right out of the gate, jumping into the lead group and maintaining stride with the best names in the sport for the six-lap journey on the fast course.

Skiing in third spot until the 20-kilometre mark where he exchanged skis, Harvey battled through the warm conditions. With two athletes breaking away the three-time Olympian from St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. led the large chase group. 

“I was third with a kilometre to go, but I didn’t have the legs to go up the final uphill into the stadium,” said Harvey. “I was right in there side-by-side with Sundby. I knew the attack was going to come and it did. I was right where I wanted to be but just didn’t have the legs to fight for the podium. I went one stride with him, but my legs were just fried, and I didn’t have it.”

Harvey got passed by a handful of skiers in the brutal final climb, dropping him just outside of the top-10.

“It’s bittersweet because I feel I executed everything the way I wanted to, but in the end, just didn’t have it.”

Norway’s Hans Christer Holund was crowned king of the 50-kilometre race with a time of 1:49:59.3 on Sunday. Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov skied to the silver at 1:50:27.1. Norway’s Sjur Roethe edged out his countrymen, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, in a photo finish for the bronze at 1:50:57.1

Three other Canadian men also suited up for the final race of the 2019 World Championships. Russell Kennedy, of Canmore, Alta., placed 46th at 1:59:56.9 – one spot ahead of Evan Palmer-Charrette (Thunder Bay, Ont.) who stopped the clock at 2:01:25.4. Toronto’s Scott Hill finished 50th with a time of 2:01:26.9.

A five-time World Championship medallist, Harvey announced he will retire from the sport at the end of the season when the World Cup Finals are hosted in Quebec City. He skis away from his final World Championship race with his head held high.

“I came here hoping for something more, but I’m really happy about the skiathlon race (finished sixth). That was my best distance race of the season. Today I did everything I wanted, but just didn’t have it at the finish.”

Complete World Championship Results:

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Chris Dornan                                                       

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Ski de fond Canada

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