Canada's Alex Harvey snags top-10 finish in men's 30km skiathlon
Norway earns cross-country podium sweep
By CBC Sports
Canada's Alex Harvey placed eighth in the men's 30-kilometre skiathlon with a time of 1:16:53.4 at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Sunday.
Norway, typically dominant in cross-country events, swept the podium.
Simen Hegstad Krueger easily took gold at 1:16:20. Not far behind him were fellow countrymen Martin Johnsrud Sundby in second place (1:16:28) and Hans Christer Holund in third (1:16:29.9).
Harvey, the 29-year-old Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., native, stayed steady with the front pack for most of the race but faded in the final kilometre, unable to keep up with the Norwegians.
"I was in the right position to go for the attack for second and third place but I just didn't have the legs," said Harvey.
The three-time Olympian was looking for his first Olympic medal to add to a career that includes more than 25 World Cup podiums.
"It was disappointing. The equipment was great but I just couldn't go when the Norwegians were going in the last lap," said Harvey. "So yeah, it was disappointing."
The 30km skiathlon is split into two 15km segments; the first half is raced using the classical skiing technique, while the second half is freestyle.
It's a long distance for skiers to cover — something Harvey paid the price for in the final laps.
"Sure it was windy, but no one wanted to push," he said. "It was more difficult towards the end. The last five minutes were really tough."
Canadians Devon Kershaw and Graeme Killick placed 36th and 45th, respectively. Knute Johnsgaard from Whitehorse was 62nd.
Click the video below to watch Alex Harvey: The Journey
Krueger had crashed on the first lap of the race before storming back for gold. When the mass start began and with skiers bottled up in lines, Krueger slipped and his right ski came out from under him, causing him to fall.
The two skiers directly behind him were Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov, Russian athletes competing as neutral Olympic athletes, and they toppled over him.
"Here it is my first ever Olympic race, and it starts in the worst possible way," said Krueger. "I had to try to keep those [negative] thoughts away. I knew it was going to be extremely hard."
By the time the three untangled themselves, they were at the rear of the field, but Krueger methodically worked his way back through the pack and took the lead with five kilometres remaining.