(Lahti, Finland) - Canada's Alex Harvey won the men's 50 km free technique mass start competition to end the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Harvey won team sprint gold in the 2011 Oslo World Championships with teammate Devon Kershaw but this was his first individual gold medal. In the silver medal position was Russia's Sergey Ustiugov just +0.6 seconds behind. He now ties Bjorn Daehlie and Petter Northug as the only male athletes to win 5 medals at one Championship. In the bronze medal position to the thrill of the home crowd was Finland's Matti Heikkinen +1.4 seconds back of Harvey.
Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby over the final kilometer did what he could to narrow the field down but he was unable to get away from Harvey and Ustiugov. Heikkinen was slightly gapped but came back to the leading three in the stadium and on the same corner where he went down in the men's relay he overtook Sundby for the bronze medal position. Britain's Andrew Musgrave also overtook Sundby on the homestretch to take 4th place, a best ever finish for a British cross-country skier.
This is amazing. I had the best skis today and I knew I could make a move coming into the stadium. When I won the 15 km classic in Ulriceham I said it was the "man's race" but this is the real man's race winning the 50 km. It's the greatest race of my life.
MEN - 50 km mass start free technique
1. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN 1:46:28.9
2. USTIUGOV Sergey 1992 RUS +0.6
3. HEIKKINEN Matti 1983 FIN +1.4
4. MUSGRAVE Andrew 1990 GBR +2.9
5. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 NOR +3.0