The best 20-year-old in the world? Anniina Ahtosalo, who is chasing an Olympic place, tells the background of the amazing early season | Sport

The best 20 year old in the world Anniina Ahtosalo who is

Anniina Ahtosalo, who entered the top 40 in the women’s cycling world ranking, has developed to a new level in the past six months.

Finnish cyclist Anniina Ahtosalo continued his spring strong performances and finished second in the Ronde de Mouscron race in Belgium on Monday.

The 20-year-old Finnish promise was involved in the massacre that decided the 122.5-kilometer long race and at the end succumbed only to the Pole from the Human Powered Health team For Daria Pikulik.

The race was not part of the women’s World Tour, but Ahtosalo claimed second place with 85 ranking points. In the world tour, 320 points are removed from second place.

According to Ahtosalo, the race was hectic, but his team Uno-X Mobility was nevertheless able to dominate the race and keep the team at the top of the main group.

– I had a pretty easy day in the first group. When I got to the final lap, I was in a good position, but the lap wasn’t quite enough to win, says Ahtosalo.

The Finns were also there Wilma Aintila (43:s), Antonia Grondahl (74:s) and Ursula Lindénwho interrupted.

The agile Ahtosalo was also second in the same race a year ago. The route of the race is relatively flat, and it has several windy small roads, which are used to solve the riders who reach the final stretch. The finish line, which is driven up a gentle uphill, also suits the Finn well.

The pace is picking up

Ahtosalo already dazzled in her season opener in February, when she reached places seven and eight in two stages of the women’s world tour at the UAE Tour in the United Arab Emirates.

At the end of March, the Finn was eighth in the Brugge–De Panne race, part of the world tour, and the best in the U23 age group.

In the lower category races, in addition to the Ronde de Mouscron, he has reached second in the one-day Le Samyn des Dames race at the end of February.

His hard performances have elevated him to the International Cycling Federation in the UCI ranking already at number 39. If Ahtosalo’s parents are filtered out of the list, the Finn will be rocking number one in the ranking.

Ahtosalo says that he was able to clearly raise his own level in the last six months. The Finnish promise has been able to drive more aggressively and actively and has gained experience in winning battles.

According to Ahtosalo, there is nothing special behind the upgrade.

– I’m still very young as a cyclist. I’ve only had to work to get to the level where I can compete with more experienced drivers, 20-year-old Ahtosalo reminds.

Ahtosalo stable Uno-X-Mobility emphasizes and supports the development of young athletes.

– We have a fairly balanced team where everyone is given opportunities if they are capable of it.

One thing at a time

Finland has one place in the women’s road race and time trial of the Paris Olympics cycling based on the international Olympic ranking. Finland’s representative has not been chosen yet.

– The place hasn’t been allocated yet, so I can’t say anything about it yet. Of course, if I could get that place, it would be nice and a big goal for the year, but one thing at a time.

Another Finn vying for an Olympic spot – an experienced EF Education Cannondale representative Lotta Henttala – is currently ranked in the UCI world list 356. He started his racing season in March and has driven four races so far. Ahtosalo has participated in nine competitions.

Ahtosalo’s next goal is the renowned spring cycling classic Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which will be run on Saturday.

– It’s the last race of my spring classic season and actually the highlight of the spring, which I’m looking forward to. I don’t know if I’m looking for a profit. We probably have a pretty open plan towards that. Let’s see what role I can play there, Ahtosalo says.