Janne Ryynänen reigns supreme at first snow competition
Finnish team veteran Janne Ryynänen hasn't been in the spotlight much over the summer but now that the winter is here, he's back with a vengeance! The 25-year-old won today's Finlandia Veikkaus Cup which was used as a first international dress rehearsal by the nations of Finland, Estonia, Poland, Belarus and Russia.
Ryynänen was already in the lead comfortably after a jump of 95,5 metres and 123 points on Rovnaiemi's HS 100 hill. Fellow Finn Mikke Leinonen held the second position with 89,5 metres (113 p.) which meant a time disadvantage of 40 seconds. Poland's Kacper Kupczak landed 90 metres and accumulated a total of 112 points which meant 44 seconds of time disadvantage in the 10 kilometre cross-country race.
His brother Szczepan, Estonia's Karl-August Tiirmaa and Ilola Anselmi from Finland split the fourth rank and started only two seconds after Kacper Kupczak.
Usually known as a rather strong ski jumper, Ryynänen did not leave the shadow of a doubt that he was the man to beat in the cross-country race. With the second fastest race time of 24:09,3, Ryynänen lead the pack from start to finish. Mikke Leinonen was not able to close the gap to his teammate, on the contrary he lost some 30 seconds and finally finished 1:10 after Ryynänen. The podium was complete by Finland's new Nordic Combined hope Ilkka Herola who didn't have a very good jump but improved 10 ranks with the third-fastest cross-country tome of the field, finishing 1:14 after Ryynänen.
The best non-Finnish athletes were Russia's Niaz Nabeev who finished fifth and Szczepan Kupczak as eighth. The fastest man on skis today was Russia's Denis Isaikin who used 24:04,6 for the ten kilometres and improved his intermediate 31st rank to a final 15th. In total, 43 athletes from five countries participated in the competition but with the Piho brothers or Russian jumping sensation Evgeniy Klimov some of the major players of the participating teams were not on start so that a final assertion of the team strengths will have to wait for the World Cup opener in Kuusamo on the 30th of November.
You can find the result lists here: