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Norway's Martin Johnsrud Sundby (L) skis next to Russia's Alexander Legkov (2nd L) and Canada's Alex Harvey (3rd L) during the men's skiathlon event at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Rosa Khutor February 9, 2014.

SERGEI KARPUKHIN/REUTERS

Alex Harvey will have more chances to deliver Canada's first Olympic medal in men's cross-country skiing, but his first attempt at the podium didn't go as planned.

The skier from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished 18th in the men's 30-kilometre skiathlon on Sunday.

Harvey drifted from the leading pack in the 15-kilometre classic portion of the race, entering the transition area in 27th place.

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He made up some ground in the 15-kilometre free ski but finished with an overall time of one hour 10 minutes 0.2 seconds, 1:44.8 behind winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

"In the classical portion, it was over after the second leg," Harvey said. "We had zero grip, and we were not very fast either. We lost 45 seconds in that portion, and we were pushing at 100 per cent, when the other guys in front were only pushing at 75 to 80 per cent."

Harvey will next compete in the men's sprint on Tuesday.

Harvey is considered a medal hopeful in Sochi after a strong World Cup season that included sprint win Poland and a 4.5-kilometre free victory in Germany.

This is Harvey's second Winter Olympics. He participated in five events at the 2010 Vancouver Games, most notably as part of the team sprint free squad that finished fourth.

Harvey finished ninth in the skiathlon in Vancouver.

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