Bjoergen claims 111th World Cup; Canada's Harvey and Kershaw push into top 30 - InfoNews

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Bjoergen claims 111th World Cup; Canada's Harvey and Kershaw push into top 30

Winners of the Men's Cross Country event pose together, with left to right, 2nd placed Norway's Didrik Toenseth, winner Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and 3rd placed Iivo Niskanen of Finland after the Men's Cross Country skiing 15km classic style competition of the FIS World Cup Ruka Nordic 2017, in Ruka, Kuusamo, Finland, on Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)
November 25, 2017 - 1:50 PM

RUKA, Finland - Canada's Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw skied their way into the elite group of 30 in the men's 15-kilometre classic-ski individual start race at the World Cup on Saturday.

Building on a solid effort in Friday's sprint race, the 29-year-old Harvey climbed his way into 13th place while the three-time Olympian Kerhsaw fought his way into 26th.

"It was a good one for the first distance race of the season. I really tried to find the balance of not starting too fast or slow. I was feeling good and it was good to be in the game today," said Harvey, who is now 12th in the overall standings for the three-race mini-tour.

Harvey, from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished with a time of 34:28.5.

Harvey met up with his longtime World Cup mate, Kershaw during the veteran's five-kilometre mark. Skiing together, the two Canadians pushed their way up the standings. Kershaw, from Sudbury, Ont., was in 55th at the time before he began pushing the pace with Harvey to climb 19 positions and stop the clock at 34:54.0.

"That was sweet to have someone there. It was good for both of us and really helped pull us both around," said Harvey.

Norway took gold and silver. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo set the time to beat at 33:38.8. Didrik Toenseth was the next best finisher at 33:54.1. Finland's Iivo Niskanen thrilled the hometown faithful with a bronze-medal effort, punching the clock at 33:56.5.

Other Canadian finishers included Toronto's Len Valjas in 48th (35:46.8), Graeme Killick of Fort McMurray, Alta., in 58th at 36:02.2, Whitehorse's Knute Johnsgaard placing 87th at 36:58.4, Julien Locke of Nelson, B.C., in 100th spot at 37:35.2 and Jesse Cockney of Canmore, Alta., in 109th (38:59.5).

Whitehorse's Emily Nishikawa was tops of the three Canadians who hit the start line for the women's 10-kilometre classic-ski race. The 2014 Olympian completed her two trips around the challenging Finnish track in a time of 27:31.8 to finish 56th. Cendrine Brown, of St-Jerome, Que., placed 76th at 28:31.2, while Whitehorse's Dahria Beatty was 84th with a time of 29:01.1.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen snagged the gold at 25:07.6. Sweden's Charlotte Kalla narrowly claimed the silver medal (25:24.6) edging out Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg by one second. Oestberg skied to the bronze at 25:25.4.

The three-day World Cup mini-tour wraps on Sunday in Ruka, Finland with the 10- and 15-kilometre skate-ski pursuit races.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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