Jasmi Joensuu is 21st overall in the Tour and Anne Kyllönen is 19th.
Jasmi Joensuu oozes confidence ahead of his Tour de Ski mainstay, the traditional sprint. It will be held on Friday in Val di Fiemme.
– The best high-placed races and the best race of my life are behind me, so I’m in the best shape of my life. I will try to ski as hard as possible on Friday. I don’t have performance goals. I know what I have skied in the past and I intend to improve those rankings, says Joensuu, who finished fourth in the traditional sprint in Ruka in November.
On Wednesday, he finished 27th in the free 20 km pursuit in Oberstdorf.
– I have never skied more than 10 kilometers free in a World Cup. I am very satisfied with my performance. I started the race with a bit of fear and I was excited to see what the feeling was. It went just fine.
The Finn has planned to ride until the end of the Tour, if his health and energy levels are okay after Friday’s sprint.
– Two years ago, this Tour was useful. I probably wouldn’t have been on the 2021 World Cup relay team if I hadn’t skied the Tour. It took so much fitness forward. At least now the health and energy levels are good, so let’s continue as long as it feels good.
Joensuu is 21st in the Tour’s overall standings.
He trained himself
Experienced Anne Kyllönen is coaching himself this season.
– National team coaches Jussi Piirainen and Juho Halonen have helped and sparred, says Kyllönen.
He has a reputation as a lust trainee and especially a lust competitor.
– I have tried to reduce my training. When we look at the amount of training, it comes to about 850 hours. The goal was closer to 800 hours, at least not to exceed it. Now it’s going, Kyllönen laughs.
He is ranked 19th overall in the Tour. The traditional one seems to be going reasonably well, with 16th and 18th places in his back pocket from the two traditional stages.
– 15–20 are the goals for this season’s tour.
The free Finn has had challenges throughout the season. The best ranking for normal distances when skating is 22nd. On Wednesday in Oberstdorf, on stage 4/7 of the Tour, the woman was 28th in the free 20 km pursuit.
– If you could get the momentum going, you would be free. When you can get to 10 on the butt, you can also go free. When there are top-15–top-20 on the backstroke, the rankings are top-30 on the free, says the athlete.
– There was a bit of everything in the early season: minor health problems and a bit of picking up with the load. When you get the races down, things start to open up.
The last time Kyllönen was on the podium was in the World Cup in 2017 at the weekend’s competition location in Val di Fiemme. Six years ago, he was second in the mass start of the traditional ten.
Overall situation of the Women’s Tour after the 4/7 race:
1. Frida Karlsson (SWE)
2. Tiril Weng (NOR), +1.28.0
3. Anne Kjersti Kalvå (NOR), +1.31.0*
4. Krista Pärmäkoski, +1.41.0
5. Kerttu Niskanen, +1.55,0
6. Lotta Weng (NOR), +2.17,0
7. Katharina Hennig (GER), +2.31.0
8. Rosie Brennan (USA), +2.36.0
9. Heidi Weng (NOR), +2.53,0
9. Astrid Slind (NOR), +2.53,0
19. Anne Kyllönen, +4.26.0
21. Jasmi Joensuu, +4.33,0
Jasmin Kähärä, Anni Alakoski and Katri Lylynperä interrupted.
*Kalvå has fallen ill with corona and will not start the Val di Fiemme stages.