Finlandia-hiihto 2009

Just the Baltic sea to cross after the Tartu maraton and we are in Finland, in Lahti. On Tuesday it was very cold (minus 14C with a strong wind!). Happily it becames warmer on Friday (minus 6C, no wind) with a little bit of snow falling. The 62 km using classic style has been shortened to 50 km. This was due to the lack of snow in southern Finland ,near Hollola.
Saturday two races in classic style : 50 and 31 km, with  more than 3600 skiers, in the two races. Niklas Colliander wins the 50 km classic in 2h19m and Aspinen the 31 km in 1 h42m. And two races in free style on Sunday : 50 km and 20 km with about 1200 people. Kari Varis wins the 50 km free in 2h04m : he won the two races in 2007 and 2008!
Good track, no difficulty to wax, no problem with the seeding but to narrow to pass easily, particularly on Sunday in the skating race!
The last 5 km are on the world championship track: very difficult when you are tired after 45 km! It’s very nice to start and especially to finish in the Lahti stadium, in front of the famous ski jumps. Before the race, good ski shop; after the race, you can lock at the tv eating soup under the tents.
Every thing is expensive in Finland except for a very nice restaurant, along the lake : Ravitolla Lokki. You can have a very good buffet for 7 € during the week and 10 € on Saturday or Sunday. A good address to note.

And if you like music, please go to the Sibelius Hall : this year on Friday you could listen a fantastic Requiem by Verdi!
Results Finlandia classic technique:

John Plaice AUS 5:36
Grant McLeod CAN 3:58
Petri Ojamies FIN 3:41
André Viry FRA 5:28
Vincent Ducastin FRA 5:46
Franco Impalmi ITA 4:36
Nancy Caviet NED 7:17
Ingebjorg Nordby NOR 5:26
Piotr Szarlat POL 3:44
Helena Åkerlind SWE 4:20
Steve Bachand USA 5:43

Results Finlandia free technique:

Bruce Wharrie AUS 4:12
Robert Palliser CAN 3:01
Pella Antovu FIN 3:37
Laurent Merindol FRA 3:16
Chrisophe Petit FRA 3:49
Corrado Ampezzan ITA 4:40
Jacek Jaskowiak POL 4:11
Richard Lovik SWE 3:57
Bengt Karlsson USA 3:56
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