Canadians Antoine Cyr, Katherine Stewart-Jones finish inside top 20 at Tour de Ski

Antoine Cyr of Gatineau, Que., placed 16th in Sunday's 10 km skate-ski pursuit race, the final stage of the grueling seven-race Tour de Ski competition in Val di Fiemme, Italy. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press/File - image credit)
Antoine Cyr of Gatineau, Que., placed 16th in Sunday's 10 km skate-ski pursuit race, the final stage of the grueling seven-race Tour de Ski competition in Val di Fiemme, Italy. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press/File - image credit)

Skiing on fumes against the world's best, Antoine Cyr was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in 16th on Sunday, posting a time of 33 minutes 51.2 seconds in the 10-kilometre skate-ski pursuit race of the Tour de Ski event in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

A day earlier, the native of Gatineau, Que., finished one-tenth of a second shy of a bronze medal in the men's 15 km classic-ski race.

Cyr skied straight up Alpe Cermis over the final three kilometres that boasts a 28 per cent hill grade.

Norway's Johannes Klaebo topped the mountain first in the cross-country race and won six times in the grueling seven-race competition.

WATCH | Cyr misses podium by fraction of a second on Saturday:

Teammate Simen Krueger placed second overall after clocking the top time in the final stage at 31:20.4.

Olivier Léveillé, a 21-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., was the next best Canadian in 32nd in 33:54.2.

Russell Kennedy of Canmore, Alta., was the top Canadian in the final stage and 39th overall. The experienced Kennedy had his best result of the epic nine-day journey through Europe, clocking the 23rd fastest time on the hill at 33:14.3.

"The hill climb was intimidating at the start, especially with how my results had been so far, but when I started my legs felt super good," Kennedy told Nordiq Canada. "It is hard to do for the first time because I wasn't sure exactly where the finish was. I went a little hard too soon.

"Finishing my first Tour was huge. I have been wanting to do this for a couple of years now, so I was stoked to be able to get one under my belt."

Vocal crowd motivating

On the women's side, Katherine Stewart-Jones finished 18th in completing her first Tour de Ski.

Coming off her first ever top-10 World Cup finish, the 27-year-old dug deep in pursuit of the finish line at the top of Alpe Cermis.

"I've always wanted to do the Tour de Ski, so it felt pretty satisfying to finish these nine days by emptying the tank at the top of a mountain," said the Chelsea, Que. skier. "It is extremely difficult. TV does not do it justice. There were a lot of people out cheering, which definitely helped me make it up the hill."

Stewart-Jones posted a time of 38:27.2 on Sunday and finished 18th overall.

"For the entire Tour to run smoothly, there is so much work done behind the scenes by our staff," added Stewart-Jones. "We have such an awesome team, and a really good team dynamic."

Sweden's Frida Karlsso was first to reach the top of the mountain and completed the competition with four podium finishes, including two victories.

Daphne Claudel of France posted the top time of day for the women, stopping the clock at 36:35.4.