The Associated Press - Sunday Dec. 29, 2013 11:12 ET

Calle Halfvarsson, Hanna Erikson give Sweden sweep at Tour de Ski

Canada's Alex Harvey falls in semifinals

Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson, right, won the men's 1,5-kilometre free sprint Sunday at the Tour de Ski event in Oberhof, Germany. (Robert Michael/Getty Images)

Calle Halfvarsson and Hanna Erikson gave Sweden a sweep of the sprints Sunday in Oberhof, Germany on the second stage of the Tour de Ski, part of the cross-country World Cup circuit.

Halfvarsson won the men's race in a fast finish to cover the 1.5-kilometre distance in three minutes, 8.61 seconds, beating Italy's Federico Pellegrino by 0.30 seconds. Overall World Cup leader Martin
Johnsrud Sundby of Norway was third, 1.80 seconds back.

Canada's Alex Harvey, who won Saturday's prologue, fell in the semifinals. The native of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., stayed ahead in the Tour standings after two of seven stages. Erikson won in 3:25.69 to beat Denise Herrmann of Germany by 0.79. Ingvild Flugstad Oesterberg of Norway was 4.32 back in third.

“The qualifier doesn’t mean much in the big picture, but it still means you were the fastest at the time so that is important,” said Harvey, of of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que. “Given the rougher start we’ve had to the year, we’ll take any of these [small victories]. Yesterday’s win was huge for the confidence. Winning a World Cup has only happened once before for me so yesterday’s results were huge for all of us.”

Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., who made history with Harvey after their one-two finish on Saturday, qualified in 10th spot.

The two Canucks were matched against each other in the opening heat where Harvey finished second to move into the semifinals. Kershaw was forced to the sidelines after crossing the finish line fourth for an 18th-place result.

Harvey’s podium hopes for a second-straight day came to an end when the Canadian got tripped up by Alexander Legkov in the second round. Harvey bounced back up on his feat, but the gap was too large to overcome.

“Yes it was a bittersweet day, but overall more sweet,” said Harvey. “Legkov tried to pass me when there was no room but that happens on tight courses. It was bad luck because I was in good position in third spot, but that is racing. It was good to have the body the way it was and the speed was there so I’m happy with how things are going and that I keep the leaders bib.”

Overall World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen of Norway finished fifth and leads the Tour standings.

Erikson wins women's event

Erikson won the second stage on the women's side. Germany’s Denise Herrmann was second, while Norway’s Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg finished third.

With files from CBCOlympics

Daria Gaiazova, of Banff, Alta., qualified for the heats in 10th spot, while Perianne Jones proved she is shaping into top form after posting the 14th quickest qualifying time.

Both Canadian women were eliminated in the opening round after crossing the finish line sixth in their respective heats.

Gaiazova finished 27th overall, while Jones was 28th.


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