The Finnish team returned to Lieksa for their traditional “Lieksan Vaskiyhdistetyn”, bringing the athletes to the HS 55 hill, followed by a downtown roller ski race followed by many spectators.
After Hannu Manninen was able to win the event last year, Ilkka Herola stepped on the top spot of the podium this year.
Herola had already been in the lead after the jumping portion with two jumps of 58.5 and 57.5 metres. Youngster Wille Karhumaa was hot on his heels after showing 55.5 and 56.5 metres, which meant a start deficit of 24 seconds for Karhumaa. Leevi Mutru claimed the third start position at +0:32 with two jumps of 56 and 55.5 metres. In fourth place was South Korean athlete Je-Un Park, who spends time with the Finnish team this summer.
In the end, Ilkka Herola proved that he doesn’t carry the title of team leader for nothing. Setting the fastest roller ski time of 20:55.0 for the 10 km of roller skiing had him finish a clear one minute and nine seconds ahead of Leevi Mutru. Karhumaa held on to a podium position in third, finishing three seconds after Mutru.