Orter wins in Rovaniemi, Hirvonen Finnish Champion 2016
Great end of the Finnish training camp for Austrian rising star Philipp Orter. The 22-year-old took the win at the so-called „First Snow Competition“, the open Finnish nationals which took place in Rovaniemi on Saturday.
Starting into the race from position 14, Orter steadily caught up on the leading athletes and finally proved to be the most complete Nordic Combined athlete by finishing 0.3 seconds ahead of Finnish youngster Eero Hirvonen who took the Finnish national title with this result. Finnish team leader Ilkka Herola followed 1.4 seconds after Hirvonen.
In the jumping part, it had been Czech Tomas Portyk who claimed the pole position with a jump of 94.5 metres and a total of 126.1 points which put him 4 seconds ahead of Hirvonen. Ilkka Herola was 26 seconds behind after 91 metres and 119.6 points.
Hirvonen lead the pack for long stretches of the race as Portyk tried to save energy by using Hirvonen’s windshield and letting the Finn do the leading work. Herola caught up with the leading duo in the second lap of the race but the three athletes were not able to work together in a way to help strong Austrian Orter off. By the third lap, Orter had reached the head of the field, took the lead and was controlled his opponents until the finish line. Eero Hirvonen skied a courageous race and did not let up, so he could claim the national title over teammate Herola’s not quite 100% efficient finish line sprint.
Ranks four five and six went to Leevi Mutru, Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves and Czech Tomas Portyk. The second Austrian, Bernhard Flaschberger, who is known for speedy racing once more set the fastest time of the race with 23:50.2 and improved from rank 21 to rank seven.