Matti Heikkinen skips Ruka Triple due to injury
Finland's World Champion from Oslo Matti Heikkinen has been forced to withdraw from the home World Cup in Kuusamo and will not be starting in Ruka Triple.
Heikkinen should have led the Finnish squad in the three-day Mini-Tour in Kuusamo but unfortunately will not appear at the start of tomorrow's stage 1, classical sprint. Heikkinen injured his eye when he jumped over the fence and fell down afterwards. Heikkinen is to leave Kuusamo and is returning home.
"I'm naturally disappointed. I've been in Kuusamo since Monday and have been preparing for the competition. Now, I'm going home and have to rest for 3-4 days so that no sweat gets in my eye," Heikkinen said at the Finnish press conference in hotel Rantassipi, Ruka.
Finnish national coach Magnar Dahlen revealed he would step in instead of injured Heikkinen. "Mikko Koutaniemi will be in the World Cup team and Teemu Harkönen will start within the national quota," the coach explained.
First stage of Ruka Triple starts tomorrow at 9:45 (CET) with qualification and 11:30 with quarterfinals.