Varis and Virtanen winning the Finlandia Hiihto CT 2017

At the moment Kari Varis, several times winner, is on his way to Germany for the FIS Worldloppet Cup tomorrow.

Contributed byFinlandia Hiihto

Today morning 10:00 thousands of skiers left the ski stadium in Lahti to ski the 53 km main competition of the Finlandia Hiihto. 2:25.50 later the first man came back. Kari Varis, who already won the Finlandia several times, crossed the finish line first, just like last year (only in another technique). He won the classic competition 27 seconds ahead of Jarmo Rissanen and another minute and 56 seconds before 3rd place, Niko Nättinen.

"I already told the first time I started the Finlandia, that I want to win. Today the key to winning was patience to ski behind the leader group!", explains Varis, who also showed a good performance in the first FIS Worldloppet Cup so far. "I knew that I would be able to create a gap between me and Jarmo (Rissanen). The culmination point of the competition was that I was able to go faster in the last kilometer.", he adds. Varis now is on his way to Germany, to compete in tomorrow's FIS Worldloppet Cup stage 4, at the König Ludwig Lauf. 

Virtanen 4 minutes ahead 

Ladies 50 kilometers went to Niina Virtanen. Mirva Rottensteiner was 4 minutes behind, and Suvi Karjaluoto came third with an 8-minute-gap to the winner. But it was not an easy-to-get-victory for Virtanen:  "The last kilometers were hard and everything hurt. I thought that the finish line wouldn't come at all! Quite seldom I have shaky legs in last downhill but this time I was so tired that the pace felt really fast." Both podiums stayed white with the blue cross - only Finish skiers are standing on it in 2017.

Tomorrow the main race, the 50 km in free technique is going to start at 10am. 

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