Toblach, Italy – Wet new snow and a glazed track made for another challenging classic day for the men’s 5km prologue.
Canadians Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw both had disappointing performances, placing 18th and 29th respectively.
Harvey found the warm-up loop too flat and was not able to spike his lactate prior to his race—an essential piece of his pre-competition preparation.
The first part of the race ended up serving this warm-up function, and Harvey stiffened up.
Harvey headed up the first climb.
He told FasterSkier that his body felt good and his skis were excellent, and that he is “pissed” with how the day went.
“I couldn’t warm up anywhere else,” Harvey said “It is the same for everybody, but I need a hard warm-up.”
Kershaw had other issues. Hailing from Canmore, Alberata, Kershaw doesn’t get many opportunities to race on hairies—the classic ski preparation that involves roughing the kick zone with sandpaper, but not applying wax.
“I just wasn’t able to transfer the power like I usually do in classic,” Kershaw said.
He sees his ability to ski hairies as a “weakness,” with the problem rooted in trust.
“In your head you know there is no wax – so it is hard to trust it,” Kershaw said.
Kershaw is in 5th in the overall standings, 1:29.8 behind leader Dario Cologna (SUI), while Harvey is 15th, +2:33.5.
The final Canadian racer, Ivan Babikov was not a sure thing to start until this morning.
Babikov crashed hard in the skiathlon in Berstdorf, and there were initial concerns that he broke his wrist.
The X-rays were negative, and after warming up today, he decided he could race.
Babikov placed 72nd in the 78-skier field.
A full report on Babikov will follow.