Tscharnke crossed the finish line in 41 minutes 14.8 seconds. Norway's Sjur Roeth won silver medal in 41:19.6 and Germany’s Tobias Angerer took bronze in 41:20.6.
Harvey, from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., was 11th in 41:35.0.
"It was hard the whole way today," Harvey said. "I didn't feel that good in my warmup so I kind of expected it to be a hard day. It was a fight all the way."
Harvey battled to keep with the main pack and made up time on the course's downhill segments.
"I didn't blow up at the end or anything, but I just couldn't go any faster," Harvey said. "I had to be smart today. I have to be happy with that result because it is my best result of the season. We just got back down from altitude so the body should be adapted by now."
Canadians Devon Kershaw and Ivan Babikov also cracked the top 20. Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., was 17th in 41:59.4 while Ivan Babikov of Canmore, Alta., placed 20th in 42:13.9.
Toronto's Len Valjas was 24th in 42:35.3.
Earlier Thursday, Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk won the women's 10-kilometre race in 28:58.4. Finland's Anne Kylloenen was second in 29:12.8 and Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla took the bronze in 29:26.6.
Brittany Webster of Caledon, Ont., was the top Canadian in 38th.
"I was pretty nervous coming in, and it was tough today," Webster said. "It is one of the most challenging courses in the world and you have to be careful not to go to hard on the climbs. It was not a stellar race, but it got better in the second and third lap."
The Alberta World Cup continues on Saturday with the skate-ski sprint races.