Ristomatti Hakolas ork tog slut redan på första etappen. Efter det blev uppförsbacken för Brant för reste av det finska förstalaget. At the same time tog Sverige hem segern fårve en jublande publik i Falun.
Mixed relays are not part of the norm in the Skiing World Cup. When such was on the program on Sunday in Falun, the strength conditions were unusually uncertain. Several stars were missing – Kerttu Niskanen, among others, withdrew their bid – and there were many tired skaters about the bid.
A tired skater unfortunately made the decision for Finland in the close battle.
On the second stage, Anne Kyllönen had to work up a gap of eleven seconds that Ristomatti Hakola lost at the end of the first stage. And when the tight quintet turned up the pace, she couldn’t answer.
– The gap was too big. They jerked in the last kilometer and my thighs were full of acid. Such is the sport. I ran red for way too long and didn’t recover. That’s the way it is when you haven’t had time to compete very much, explains Hakola afterwards.
Then Kyllönen sent Perttu Hyvärinen for the first skating step with a distance of 24 seconds from world champion Simen Hegstad Krüger. And then it became clear that Finland would be the best to compete for the second place in the competition.
Eveliina Piippo åkte ut på ankaretappe i praktiken simultanet som Tyskland’s andralag, USA och Kanada.
Further forward in the field there was a fierce fight for the victory.
“And you’re not even tired!”
Five teams remained in the bid for the anchor stage: Norway twice, Italy, Sweden and Germany, whose women’s skiers Katharina Hennig and Viktoria Carl did a rough job called duga in the competition.
With one kilometer to go, Jonna Sundling and Anne Kjersti Kalvå picked up the pace. It quickly became clear that Kalvå had no chance against the sprint expert.
The crowd cheered big when Sundling entered the race in a clear lead. And Sundling cheered big when she crossed the finish line.
– And you’re not even tired, Calle Halfvarsson was heard to say to her after the finish line.
At the same time as the top teams embraced each other in the goal yard, Eveliina Piippo drove at full speed against Pia Fink. It was the same duo that met on the third stage of the WC – and just like then it was an advantage for the German skater when the duo entered the race.
Fink grabbed sixth place and Piippo finished as seventh lady.
Finland’s andralag with the quartet Markus Vuorela, Anni Alakoski, Niko Anttola and Eevi-Inkeri Tossavainen finished 15th.
Results, mixed relay 4×5 km:
1. Sweden I 45.11,5
2. Norway I +4.6
3. Germany I +6.4
4. Norway II +6.5
5. Italy I +15.7
6. Germany II +46.0
7. Finland I +49,3 (Ristomatti Hakola, Anne Kyllönen, Perttu Hyvärinen, Eveliina Piippo)
8. USA I +1.00,9
15. Finland II +2.41.9 (Markus Vuorela, Anni Alakoski, Niko Anttola, Eevi-Inkeri Tossavainen)