Canadian Alex Harvey continued his strong season with a silver-medal performance in the 15-kilometre mass start free event in Seefeld, Austria on Sunday.
The St-Férréol-les-Neiges, Que., cross-country skier clocked in at 31 minutes, 39.3 seconds to secure second place.
“When you haven’t raced in two weeks it is always exciting to see where you are at. I was ready to take a beating today,” Harvey said. “The races started out really fast so that first lap was hard. I was feeling really tired after the last few weeks of training and thought, ‘oh boy, this could be a long day.’
“After the first lap, things started slowing down and I was able to pace myself.”
Dario Cologna of Switzerland took the top spot on the podium with a time of 31:37.9, while Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby was third in 31:40.8.
“It wasn’t the hardest course so I kind of just mentally got myself ready for the big push at the end,” added Harvey. “I was able to pace myself for the last uphill. I knew it would come down to a sprint down the last hill.
“Dario just had a little more than me at the finish. It is a great feeling to know you can find something inside to finish second on a day when you aren’t feeling good or don’t have the legs.”
Harvey narrowly missed out on a medal on two occasions earlier this season. He finished fourth in the 15km pursuit free in Ruka, Finland, by less than one second, and came up 2.5 seconds short with another fourth-place result in the 15km event in Toblach, Italy.
The Canadian currently sits fourth-overall in the World Cup standings.
“I’ll take a lot of positive things from this weekend with me to the Olympics,” added Harvey. “The goal for me was to finish this camp being really tired, recover and bounce back from that and not worry about the results.”
“Today was a bonus, but I can tell you, I am really tired! We are bringing a lot of confidence and momentum with us into the Games and are all very excited.”