Alex Harvey concluded the cross-country skiing season with one more trip to the podium on Sunday, finishing second in the 15km pursuit to win the silver medal at the World Cup Final in Quebec City.
In an extremely close photo finish, Harvey was just beaten to the line by Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo. They, along with another Norwegian, Niklas Dyrhaug, sprinted through the final 25 metres before extending their skis across the line. Harvey and Klaebo were both timed in 32 minutes 44.5 seconds, but Klaebo’s foot was in front just enough to give him the victory. Dyrhaug was a tenth of a second back for the bronze.
The World Cup Final takes the format of a mini tour, with the start order in the pursuit based on skiers’ results and times through the first two events. Following his victory in the sprint on Friday and his fourth place finish in the 15km mass start on Saturday, Harvey was the third man onto the Plains of Abraham course, starting 23 seconds after Klaebo, but just one second behind Dyrhaug.
The format of the third and final race sets up the skiers to all pursue the overall leader, in this case, Klaebo. The lead trio was able to open up a healthy gap on the chase pack, which came in handy in the closing kilometres of the race when at times they stopped pushing momentarily and stood up fully. But that energy conservation proved vital at the finish in their fight for podium positions.
Harvey finishes the year ranked third in the overall World Cup standings for the second time in his career, the first coming in the 2013-14 season. He is also ranked a career-high second in the distance classification.
Harvey’s biggest breakthrough in the distance events came at the world championships two weeks ago when he won gold in the 50km mass start. He also posted a 15km interval start victory at the World Cup stop in Ulricehamn, Sweden in mid-January.