Juho Mikkonen. Foto: Laiho/NordicFocus.

Juho Mikkonen. Foto: Laiho/NordicFocus.

Første i mål disket i Finlandia Ski Marathon

Langløpet Finlandia-Hiihto hadde ikke uventet mange finske navn i toppsjiktet da det ble gjennomført ved Lahti lørdag. Aller best var Heli Heiskanen og Juho Mikkonen. For Juho var det små marginer bakover, mens første mann over målstreken ble disket.

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Rapport fra de finske arrangørene av Finlandia-Hiihto, også kjent som Finlandia Ski Marathon, på arrangementets nettside:

Juho Mikkonen from Squeezy Team Finland won the classic style race of Finlandia Ski Marathon.

He won ahead of Mikko Koutaniemi and Kari Varis, top three was within two seconds.

As the weather already produced minor problems, Mikkonen had some additional worries.

- It was okay until 46 kilometers, then a lot of stuff happened and I had to even stretch myself while skiing, said Mikkonen after the prize giving ceremonies. Victory felt great for Mikkonen, even though the conditions on the track were very challenging and the natural snow felt very soft.

- I had a good run to the finish line, stated Mikkonen. He had a 500 km drive to his home after the race. The placements for Finlandia Ski Marathon weren’t resolved during the race. The local public hold their breath until the end. Mikko Koutaniemi came second.

- That was all I had today, said Koutaniemi right after crossing the finish line.

Kari Varis (Team Kestävyysurheilu.fi) who has won the Finlandia Ski Marathon nine times came third today.

- It was quite okay, but I am a bit upset about losing the race in the finish line, said Varis.

A lot of people spoke about the difficult circumstances, but the veteran of Finlandia Ski Marathon said that in the leading group the skis were working fine for everyone. Third place was fine for him, but Varis wants more.

The 10th win of Finlandia Ski Marathon could come sometime soon.

- Hopefully tomorrow, he smiled.

The first one crossing the finish line was originally Ari Luusua but he was disqualified because of using skating style in a classic style race. This happened also to Antti Lampinen who was originally fifth - he was also disqualified.

In women's race Heli Heiskanen was a clear winner, winning by 6.22 minutes.

She is preparing for Vasaloppet and had clear goals:"My only goal was to win. I usually start pretty fast", says Heiskanen.

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