At 21 years of age, Canada’s Alex Harvey is keeping pace with the world’s fastest nordic skiers. After steadily creeping up the results since the beginning of the season, today he blazed to a 9th place finish in the 10km classic, stage 6 of the Tour de Ski.
What went well in today’s race that allowed for such a great result?
Today’s race was my best ever result in a distance individual start so I am super pumped! I have been feeling pretty good since the beginning of the Tour but I’ve had some bad luck in the two ”main” days for me. First in the second day of the Tour, in the 15km pursuit I got super pissed at a Russian skier after he pushed me twice outside the course. I lost a lot of energy trying to go back to the front of the pack and then blew up in the last 2 k.
Then in the 35km pursuit yesterday, I had some weird problem in my breathing. I felt like I was stuck under water or something…My diaphragm was super painful. I could see the race go under my eyes! A lot of skiers went by me and ended up closing back on the lead group. I finally got rid of this breathing problem with 20k to go but the damage was done.
Are you starting to feel like you are in true racing form?
I know that I need a lot of races before I can start challenging for WC podiums. I am not there yet but I am closer than ever this season and I know I will be right there for the Olympics.
The team has had some fantastic results and shown a lot of depth in this tour already – is the team excited, and do you hear from fans back home who are excited?
Our men’s team has been consistently strong over the last 2-3 years. Each day, one of us (if not all of us) can step up and get a top ten or even a podium. Babs [Ivan Babikov] won yesterday’s 35km in the day time, Kersh [Devon Kershaw] was 10th on the 2nd day, Gino [George Grey] was 17th in the prologue and then me 9th today, it shows that we can all be amongst the world’s best. We all get super pumped about each other results and it’s very good for the team spirit.
Can you describe what you do right after one race to prepare for the next day’s race?
I try to get the recovery drink into me within 10 min after the race. Then I put on some dry clothes, go cool down. After that we drive back to the hotel, shower. Then we get a massage as soon as possible, and then eat a good meal. After dinner I go for a slow jog (not so slow when it’s with Kersh…) and then go to bed before 10pm. I love sleeping, so I can wake up at 10 and then start the day again and I am ready to start over!
What do you do in the “down” time between races?
In the downtime, I watch movies or talk trash with Kersh.
What are the worst and best parts of the Tour?
Worst part of the Tour would be racing in so very bad snow conditions (Prague was in 3 feet deep sugar) and travel every day or so. But in the end, it is still all worth it!