All eyes in Quebec City were on the Plains of Abraham this weekend as the world’s elite cross-country skiers battled it out at the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Finals. Needless to say, it was “mission accomplished” for event organizer Gestev—presenting the finals in line with International Ski Federation (FIS) standards and preparing such a big event with less than two months’ notice. “We’re over the moon that Quebec City was up to the challenge of hosting the finals at such short notice,” said FIS Race Director Pierre Mignerey. “Once again, the organizing committee and spectators have proven what a fantastic destination Quebec City is for cross-country skiers.”
Ideal scenario for Alex Harvey
After winning gold on Friday in the Freestyle Sprint presented by Québecor, home favourite Alex Harvey gave it his all in the distance races this weekend, finishing just short of the podium with a 4th-place finish in yesterday’s Classic Mass Start presented by RBC and LL Bean, and placing 2nd in this afternoon’s Freestyle Pursuit presented by Québecor. Alex was also able to carve out 3rd place in the overall World Cup, a second time in his career (3rd place in 2014). Unsurprisingly, Norway dominated the podium again all weekend, winning 10 of the 18 medals up for grabs.
As Quebec City feasted on its third Cross-Country World Cup event since 2012, Alex Harvey lapped up the cheers of the roaring home crowd along the course. “The spectators were really out in force, more so than ever, and they gave all of us the energy to ski our best in all three races,” Harvey said. “Having front-row seats to see the world’s elite cross-country skiers do their thing is a privilege for the people of Quebec City,” said mayor Régis Labeaume. “This prestigious competition puts Quebec City on the world stage, showcasing what a spectacular destination our city is and proving we have what it takes to organize high-calibre sporting events.” The three-day weekend will have been one to remember for the thousands of spectators and for Canadians everywhere—as well as nearly 450 international team members from 17 other nations. Major event partner Cascades took the opportunity to present a $10,000 donation to Skibec and the Mont Sainte-Anne Cross-Country Ski Club to support grassroots development of the sport.