Veteran athletes prevail amid snowy conditions

RAUTALAMPI (FIN). Being one of the most technical tracks every season, Rautalampi again proved to put athletes on their heels. Snowy conditions added to the excitement as athletes raced down a track filled with tight turns and abrupt features until reaching the long finish straightaway. However, the sixth stop of the ATSX Ice Cross World Championship series favored familiar faces and veteran athletes who topped the podium. 


In the Men’s category, after sitting out the first half of the season due to injury, Marco Dallago (AUT) came out on top. The race was tight, as Mirko Lahti (FIN) led the charge out of the gate. Tough ice conditions did not help the favorite Lahti, as he found a rut sending him down, allowing the other competitors to pass. Leevi Nakari (FIN) followed Dallago to the finish line taking second place, followed by Luca Engler (GER) in third. Further down the leaderboard, we saw Miika Miettinen (FIN) take fifteenth after a three-year hiatus. Even in old age, Miika looked promising all weekend. Another seasoned competitor we saw make improvement was Paul Aegerter (RSA). Paul time trialed 50th out of 51 competitors, but battled his way through the LCQ to improve 16 places and finish the weekend 34th. Upset of the week was Kevin Sciboz (SUI) who finished 28th. Kevin has been battling a stomach bug since the Canadian event. Rounding out the top eight for the Men’s category were: 5th Richard Van Wijhe (SWE), 6th Michael Urban (CZE), 7th Antti Tolvanen (FIN), and 8th Laurent Goulet-Garneau (CAN).


In the Women’s category, Veronika Windisch (AUT) once again skated her way to the number one spot. This is the third time she has finished first on European soil this season. Followed closely behind was Justine Zonne (LAT) taking second. The tightest battle of the whole heat was between Amandine Condroyer (FRA) and Michelle Mulder (CAN). As corners approached, the battle intensified. Both athletes fought hard, but it was Amandine who pulled ahead in the finish straightaway taking third. The remaining Women’s results were: 5th Virginie Schneider (BEL) and 6th Piipe Hiltunen (FIN).


The Juniors were led by Linus Ollikainen (FIN), who has been unstoppable this season. Linus has now finished first in three events this season. Closely behind him taking second was Elias Vauhkonen (FIN) and in third was Niklas Begander (AUT). Taking fourth was Arthur Fort (FRA) who has been in the mix all season. Rounding out the top eight for the Juniors category: 5th Jakob Begander (AUT), 6th Karo Kinnunen (FIN), 7th Ilari Laitinen, and 8th Veeti Miskala. 


The last stop on the ATSX Ice Cross World Championship tour is February 25th in Soini, Finland. 



MEN: 1st Marco Dallago (AUT), 2nd Leevi Nakari (FIN), 3rd Luca Engler (GER)

WOMEN: 1st Veronika Windisch (AUT), 2nd Justine Zonne (LAT), 3rd Amandine Condroyer (FRA)

JUNIORS: 1st Linus Ollikainen (FIN), 2nd Elias Vauhkonen (FIN), 3rd Niklas Begander (AUT)