SPORTS

Canadian Alex Harvey finishes a close second in World Cup cross-country ski race

02/14/2015 10:52 EST | Updated 04/16/2015 05:59 EDT
OSTERSUND, Sweden - Canadian Alex Harvey will head into the 2015 world cross-country ski championships on a high note.

The 27-year-old native of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., captured a silver medal at a World Cup cross-country ski event. Norway's Finn Haagen Krogh captured the men's 1.2-kilometre classic sprint event with a time of two minutes 25.26 seconds, just 0.47 seconds ahead of Harvey. Fellow Norwegian Timo Andre Bakken was third, 1.41 seconds behind.

It was Harvey's second silver medal of the season, winning his first at Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf, Germany in January.

"My skis felt a little slippery at the start so I was happy to just qualify, but then we made some adjustments," said Harvey. "They got better and better as we went through the rounds.

"It started with a quick uphill which is not really my strength so I was always in fifth or sixth until the second lap I started making some ground."

Starting on the inside lane, Harvey remained patient at the back of the pack as he did in the opening two rounds in the head-to-head heats before finishing strong.

"It was a really good day all around," Harvey said. "I just came back from altitude so it is a bit of a toss up as to how the body will respond from that.

"This is great for my confidence. I think I have a little more to go, but I'm feeling close to 100 per cent as we get closer to the world championships."

The world championships begin Wednesday in Falun, Sweden.

Toronto's Len Valjas also qualified for the heats and finished 13th. Jesse Cockney, of Canmore, Alta., was 75th.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen took the women's race in 2:46.82. Compatriot Maiken Caspersen Falla was second, 1.80 seconds behind, while Sweden's Stina Nilsson took third, 2.03 behind.

Perianne Jones, of Almonte, Ont., was fifth in her opening head and finished 21st overall while Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt, of Morin Heights, Que., qualified 55th.

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