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 finals of the World Cup cross-country skiing, on the plains of Abraham. The emotion was so strong on arrival that he burst into tears.
“The crowd helped me a lot. It was good, it was a difficult season, mentally especially […] I told myself this week: ¢ if I manage to make a podium, it will be difficult to hold back the tears, “said the skier of St. 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 of ups and downs, he never gave up hope of another podium after his third place sprint at Lillehammer in November. “There was a lot of mental work in the room last night [Friday] and Thursday night also before the sprint to chase away the bad thoughts and focus on the task at hand, and give me the best chance of trying to 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. [Frederico] Pellegrino, who almost came to push me into the tree, [Johannes Hoesflot] Klaebo 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.
“Fifteen km is pretty short for 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.