In front of hundreds of fans who encouraged him throughout the race, Alex Harvey was able to transcend to get the second place of the 15 km classic starting group of the Finals of the World Cup cross-country skiing, on the plains of Abraham. The emotion was so strong on arrival that it broke down in tears after a difficult season.
“The crowd helped me a lot. It was good, it was a difficult season, mentally especially […] I told myself this week “if I succeed in making a podium it will be difficult to hold back the tears” “, said the skier of Saint-Ferréol- les-Neiges, who had never experienced such emotion, even in 2017 when he won the sprint.
According to Alex Harvey, the scenario was different that year when he was world champion in the 50km, and third in the overall ranking of the World Cup. But despite a season saw-tooth, he never gave up hope of another podium after his third place in the sprint at Lillehammer in November. “There was a lot of mental work in the room last night and Thursday night also before the sprint to chase the bad thoughts and focus on the spot that was to be done, and give me the best chance to try to play the podium. He revealed.
This positive attitude paid off for him, as he avoided traps and remained in the lead pack all along the race to finish second (36: 11.7). “I watched the girls’ race on television, I saw a lot of falls, I knew I had to stay at the front of the pack, I avoided three falls in the middle of the race. Pellegrino [Frederico] who came almost to push me into the tree, Klaebo [Johannes Hoesflot] who fell in front of me and another fall a little before. I managed to stay on my skis and not to break equipment, “he said” 15 km is quite short in the guys for a master, it plays the elbows, you have to be really aggressive . I managed to get by and stay out of trouble, “he continued.
“Today was a good performance with the crowd at home. He has always done well in Quebec. Outside, people do not see how he gives himself to the maximum, how difficult it is, “said his coach Louis Bouchard.
On arrival, he was beaten by Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (36: 10.9). Another Norwegian, Didrik Toenseth (36: 12.2), completes the podium in 3rd place.
A model to follow
Alex Harvey’s emotion did not go unnoticed on the finish line. All the skiers came to congratulate him. The Quebecer is a model for many founders.
The young Antoine Cyr, 21, 63rd (40: 40.7), Saturday, hopes to follow the footsteps of his idol. “These are big shoes to fill, but I think we are on the right track,” he said. “It’s impressive to see a Quebecker doing so well in sports. And Alex is not just a good athlete, he’s also a good person and a great model. ”
According to his coach, Alex Harvey has given many people a taste of cross-country skiing, not just youth. “It motivates all age groups. I have friends who ski more than before. It also motivates ski centers to offer more beautiful ski slopes, there is a greater interest, “he said.
The Italian, Frederico Pelligrino, will keep a very good memory of the Quebec foundry with whom he liked to speak in French. “Running with him has always been beautiful. It’s not only fighting with athletes, but also men. Finishing his career with a podium in front of his audience is a great way to honor everything he has done during his career, “he said.
Before being officially retired, the 30-year-old has the intention to play the holiday troubles, Sunday, during the 15 km freestyle to end up on the podium.
“I still have legs. I want to do the same thing tomorrow, I’m going to be on the podium, “said Alex Harvey, whose last all-day event is scheduled for 11 am.