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Pierre Harvey made Canadian nordic history in 1987 with Canada's first ever World Cup win in Falun, Sweden. With Pierre watching trackside, his son Alex and Devon Kershaw have now made new Canadian nordic history, with Alex winning the World Cup today in Falun and Devon finishing 3rd. This was the first time 2 Canadian men have stood on the podium together on a World Cup podium, Beckie Scott was 1st and Sara Renner was 3rd at the Sovereign Lake World Cup in 2005. Sandwiched in between the Canadians was overall World Cup winner, Dario Cologna.
The Canadians skied tactically astute races over the 3.3k course featuring the Mördarbacken (Killer Hill) at the start and another smaller hill in the second half of the course.
At the top of the major climb Maurice Manificat of France was the early leader with first Devon and then Alex coming through just a bit of the pace. Dario Cologna was the next top skier through and was 3 or 4 seconds ahead of the Canadians, just behind Manificat.
Swedish skier Marcus Hellner started out extremely quickly and came through the top of the hill 3 seconds ahead of Cologna, in a brave attempt to make inroads on Devon's 2nd place ranking on the overall World cup.
As they approached the finish, Devon took over the lead from Dyrhaug of Norway. It was then a waiting game to see if his result would hold up.
First it was Alex coming around to move into first, ahead of Devon by just over 3 seconds and then it was Cologna, who had the benefit of splits off the Canadians coming in to finish, just .2 seconds behind Alex, bumping Devon to 3rd.
Hellner the top skier at the intermediate time station paid for his early speed finishing 9th. Len Valjas had a strong result finishing 21st and Kevin Sandau was 45th.
Today's result was Alex's first win in a World Cup competition after several podium results. He also gains significant ground in his quest for the 5th place in the Overall World Cup standings.
Today's result moves Alex to 2nd in the Finals minitour ranking and leaves Lenny Valjas in 3rd. Devon is back in 11th as the skiers prepare for Saturday's 15k classic, mass start event.
Devon now looks quite secure to stay 2nd in the overall World Cup with Alex moving up to 6th, with his sights set on 5th, 86 points ahead.
Overall World Cup standings
Distance World Cup standings
Updates and Video coverage to follow shortly.
A full press release and updates will follow with athlete and coach comments.
Un communiqué de presse suivra sous peu dans les deux langues officielles, incluant les commentaires des athlètes et entraîneurs.