Canadian cross-country skier Alex Harvey fourth at World Cup

Alex Harvey of Canada (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

TOBLACH, Italy — Canada’s Alex Harvey finished two seconds short of his first World Cup podium of the season on Saturday, taking fourth place in the men’s 15-kilometre race

Harvey put together the best distance race of his career on the Toblach trails, clocking a time of 30 minutes 12.8 seconds.

"It’s always bittersweet finishing in fourth," said the Saint-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., native. "You always think about where you could have found a second here or there, but I did everything I could do today.

"For this time of the year, I’m taking the positive from this for sure."

Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger took gold in 29:58.8, Maurice Manificat of France was second and Britain’s Andrew Musgrave was third.

It was the second fourth-place finish of the season for the 29-year-old Harvey, who has consistently placed in the top-10 for much of the first half of the World Cup calendar.

"I have had personal bests on a lot of different venues this year so I’m really happy with where things are at," said Harvey.

Forced to attack while kicking his race into gear out of the gate on the hard and fast three-lap course, Harvey charged through the flats and powered his way up the gradual terrain and two steep climbs for his best-career distance finish on the Toblach tracks.

"You have to go out fast and be able to recover well in the downhills," Harvey said. "It is hard to make up a lot of time on people later in the race. The leaders started behind me so the splits I got I knew I was leading at the time. I couldn’t have gone any faster today though."

Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., was the next best Canadian finisher in 38th place (31:20.9). Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., was 49th (31:46.6), Russell Kennedy, of Canmore, Alta., was 60th (32:12.0), and Knute Johnsgaard, of Whitehorse, finished 85th (33:27.1).

Emily Nishikawa, of Whitehorse, was the top Canadian woman in 51st (24:47.4). Cendrine Brown, of St-Jerome, Que., skied to 55th at 25:01.0, while Dahria Beatty, of Whitehorse, was 69th at 25:45.0, and Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Que., was 77th (26:47.8).

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla was the top woman on the day with a time of 22:40.1. The Norwegians grabbed the final two spots on the podium. Ragnhild Haga clocked the second-fastest time at 22:45.9, while Heidi Weng locked up the bronze medal with a time of 22:53.9.

The final World Cup race before the holiday break takes place Sunday in Toblach with pursuit races.

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