Canada's Alex harvey captured gold just 0.7 seconds ahead of Evgeniy Belov from Russia in the 15 km + 15km Pursuit. In third place was Raul Shakirzianov from Russia, 35.7 seconds behind the winner.
Harvey, who just made one start at this U23 World Championships, and Belov were clearly dominating the demanding race. Both were pushing hard from the start and get soon a gap to their contenders. Belov, winner of the 15 km free technique race at the U23 World Championships, and Harvey skied all the way to the finish line together but at the end the young Canadian had the fastest legs and claimed victory ahead of the Russian. Raul Shakirzianov was a long time in the first chasing group but could gain on the final lap an advantage, took the third spot and his second medal at this year’s U23 World Championships after finishing third in the 15 km free technique race.
For Harvey, son of Holmenkoll winner Pierre Harvey, it was the first U23 World Championships title.
Alex Harvey (CAN)
This is the first gold I have won at the champs. Last year I was ranked number one also, but my leg was bad; I couldn’t sprint and I came second. It’s hard to accept that you are young and in good shape, but your body doesn’t follow. Today’s race was a good training for the Oslo. I was a bit tired of the trainings earlier, but I had good skis. I used my sprint to finish. I plan to compete at the World Championships in Oslo. We want to reach podium there with our team, but it’s the matter of having a good day. I think it is possible.
Evgeniy Belov (RUS)
Of course I wanted to win, but the opponent Alex was very strong, especially his sprint was strong. This is something that I want to improve myself also. It was important to break away from the rest of the group and we made it. For the rest I didn’t have enough power to win Alex. It was two times I accelerated and had a gap with Alex, but downhill Alex caught me again. I also didn’t shave today for that maybe it brings some luck, but it didn’t help me today.
Raul Shakirzianov (RUS)
I am satisfied with the third place. The skis were very good and I am happy about the result. Classical part and the second lap was the hardest, the rest was okay and I felt very good.