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Canada’s Harvey Career-best 7th at Tour de Ski as Russia’s Ustiugov Claims Overall Title

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus
January 08, 2017 (Val di Fiemme) – Canada’s Alex Harvey raced to a career-best 7th overall with Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov crowned the king of cross-country skiing on Sunday as the Tour de Ski wrapped up on legendary Alpe Cermis, the grueling final 9km FR Stage 7 Pursuit climb.

Final podium [P] Nordic Focus

Defending champ, Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Norway), finished second while Switzerland’s Dario Cologna held all all challengers to land third on the final podium at 45 seconds behind the winner. Ustiugov impressively won 5 of 7 stages – a record for the Tour celebrating its 11th edition this year.

Sergey Ustiugov (RUS) [P] Nordic Focus

“It was quite good today. That was the best position ever for me up the climb, and I had the 14th best time on the day,” said Harvey, who also skied faster than the overall leader Sergey Ustiugov on the day. “I was skiing with Manificat and Heikkinen who had the top-two times on the day. I was with them for a bit, but it was just a bit to fast for me. They crushed everyone on the hill.”

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus
The real battle of the day was for third as Harvey, Maurice Manificat (Fra) and Finland’s Matti Heikkinen worked together to reel in Cologna. Manificat was on a mission to become the first Frenchman to podium at the Tour and was on Cologna’s heels at one point but the Swiss star closed the door and Manificat settled for fourth.

Devon Kershaw (CAN) [P] Nordic Focus
Harvey’s teammate Devon Kershaw, one of only three athletes in the world to have started all 11 Tours, finished 25th overall while the lone American man, Noah Hoffman, crossed the final finish line to claim 26th overall. Only 40 of the 85 athletes who started, successfully finished this year’s Tour.

Noah Hoffman (USA) [P] Nordic Focus

“This gives me a lot of confidence for next year to know that if I’m in the top-three I am fast enough to keep it together on the last day and get on the overall podium,” said Harvey, 28.

“The first part is not so bad, but when you hit that first pitch your legs feel like concrete and then you have to tough it out for the last 15 minutes. Normally you have a downhill, and flats, to recover, but here you don’t flush any lactate. You just keep going and it is a battle against yourself. With six races before this one, it’s an absolute relief when you get to the top,” he added.

Alex Harvey [P] Nordic Focus

Harvey also finished 3rd behind Ustiugov and Sundby in the Tour’s Sprint Standings which are based on the first sprint race and bonus seconds accumulated during the seven stages.

“Toblach was the stage I was fearing the most. It is a bit of a dark hole for me, but I had my best result (11th) ever there. Yesterday was just a bit of a mix of fatigue and we overdid it a bit with grip on the skis. I felt quite good today and I think this was a step in the right direction towards World Championships,” Harvey concluded.

Results here.
Overall here.

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