Jämin Jänte’s anchor Lauri Lepistö was able to shake off Miro Karppanen, who is known as a tough letterman, and left Imatra Urheilijat Vuokatti in second place in the Finnish Cup relay.
A year ago, Imatra’s Urheilijat celebrated the victory of the men’s relay at the Finnish Cup in Vuokatti, and later in the spring the relay championship of the entire Cup. The team was among the early favorites this time as well, but Jämin Jänte’s trio Niko Husu, Markus Vuorela and Lauri Lepistö didn’t let the people of Imatra celebrate.
The win was the first for Husu, who moved to Jänte from Kuusamo’s Erä-Veik, so he was happy for a reason.
– There was a lot of tension. The pressure was put on me that I had to win, admitted Husu, who skied the opening leg.
Waiting for Lepistö in the goal area with the rest of the team Cross mat Hakola told Urheilu that he and Vuorela had talked Husu into the team’s ranks for three years.
– This is a good boy, this is our lieutenant, Hakola praised Husu, who is part of the Defense Forces team, after the race.
Supporters did not panic
Imatran was expected from the advance message Miro Karpanen and Jämin Lepistö’s scrambling, but Imatra got into a chasing position right after the opening leg. Ville Ahonen opened his competitive season with the relay, and the freestyle skiing technique was not yet in full swing. Remi Lindholm was only able to narrow the gap to the top by a second, so Karppanen, known as a tough guy, started the anchor section 20 seconds behind the chasing positions.
Karpanen managed to catch the tip, but Lepistö’s blow on the rise of Kuru was too much.
– I had made a tactic so that I would tighten up on Kuru in the last lap, whether Miro is behind or not, Lepistö said.
– When we came from the second round, it seemed that panic started to spread among the supporters. That now Miro is so close. I didn’t panic, Lepistö said calmly.
Karpanen admitted that his legs seemed to straighten out in Lepistö’s attack, but he was still able to complete a decent kir. With this, he guaranteed Imatra second place with a difference of 2.8 seconds to Jämi and just under seven seconds to the third place Puijo Ski Club.
– Pojat left such a gap when starting the anchor section that I had to ski the whole nine kilometers, Karppanen stated and said that he was quite confident in his own condition.
– The condition has been on the rise for the last month and a half. This gave such confirmation that the condition and condition are good. I can go and get really fast during the next few weeks.
Mäkinen’s attitude impressed me
Skied the opening leg of the Puijo Ski Club Petteri Koivisto returned to the race track after a long break and did well. Perttu Hyvärinen kept pace with Markus Vuorela in the second leg and Puijo’s anchor, 19 years old Niilo Mäkinen was able to keep his team in the prize positions. The youngster didn’t flinch when Hyvärinen sent him off as second in the race.
– The Finnish Cup is a small competition, however, it wasn’t a terribly bad situation, Mäkinen assured.
Sports expert Jussi Piirainen admired Mäkinen’s attitude. In his opinion, this shows that Mäkinen’s goals are elsewhere than in the Finnish Cup.
– This was also a convincing opening of the season for Miro Karppase. He worked alone all the time and was still able to beat Kir like that, Piirainen praised.