Canada's Alex Harvey is on a roll and has won his second World Cup competition in a row. After winning last weekend's team sprint in Toblach with Len Valjas he followed it up today with a victory in the 15 km free technique interval competition in Ulricehamn, Sweden. It was Harvey's first ever World Cup win in an interval start distance competition (not including a tour stage prologue). An early leader Harvey hung on for a 6.0 second win ahead of Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby who made up time over the final kilometers. As in the ladies' competition the crowd was treated to a Swedish athlete in third place and in this case it was Marcus Hellner +14.3 seconds back. In the final kilometers - despite lacking any major climbs - the competition saw many changes in the battle for third place. Hellner in the end beat out Dario Cologna (SUI) by 0.4 seconds. Daniel Stock (NOR) competing in his first World Cup outside of Norway was 5th just 1.9 seconds behind Hellner.
The top 10 athletes were separated by just 34 seconds with 7 nations represented. Competitions continue tomorrow with the ladies 4 x 5 km relay and the men's 4 x 7.5 km relay.
Alex Harvey (CAN)
I had perfect skis today. The track was suiting me pretty well. There was a lot of one skate, which was for me really good. I was getting a lot of information about the other guys. I am never fast at the beginning of the race. I managed to get into a good rhythm.
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
I did not feel too good from the start. My big training period for the World Champs started 10 days ago. So I felt a bit week. I was getting better during the race.
Marcus Hellner (SWE)
I was sick after the Tour and I started training on Monday. I did not know what to expect. I was looking forward to this. I really wanted to compete in Ulricehamn. I grew up 100 km from here and I competed here a lot when I was a kid. I felt pretty good and I realised I was in the fight for 3rd place. It is great to finish on the podium.
MEN - 15 km F interval start
1. HARVEY Alex 1988 CAN 32:46.2
2. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 NOR +6.0
3. HELLNER Marcus 1985 SWE +14.3
4. COLOGNA Dario 1986 SUI +14.7
5. STOCK Daniel 1992 NOR +16.2
Complete results are available HERE.
WORLD CUP OVERALL STANDINGS
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 1218 pts
2. USTIUGOV Sergey RUS 961
3. HEIKKINEN Matti FIN 741
Overall standings available HERE.
WORLD CUP DISTANCE STANDINGS
1. SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud NOR 648 pts
2. HEIKKINEN Matti FIN 441
3. HARVEY Alex CAN 412
Distance standings available HERE.